Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Baroudi, B., & Rapp, R.R. (April, 2011). A project management approach to disaster response and recovery operations. Paper presented at 36th Annual Conference for Australian University Building Educators, Bond University, Gold Coast.


In the last decade the world has seen some of the most devastating natural and manmade disasters on record. These include the 2004 Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, the Haiti earthquake, the 2009 Victorian bushfires and more recently the Pakistan floods, the Christchurch earthquake and the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and radiological contamination. These disasters require substantial relief and recovery efforts that are in many cases beyond the capabilities of the countries concerned. The discipline of project management is continually gathering interest from varied sectors. Such interest has seen its body of knowledge applied to many diverse fields such as construction, defence, information technology, health, etc. In fact supporters of project management ideology advocate that all management situations should adopt a “management by projects” philosophy. This paper presents a preliminary study in respect to disaster management. It reviews disaster management literature and follows on to provide a commentary on the topic using a project management approach that examines project stakeholders, organisation, lifecycles, processes and the knowledge areas. The intention of the study is to provide a foundation for upcoming collaborative research into the management of disaster related operations. Disaster management efforts have attracted significant criticism in recent times. It is believed that viewing disaster response and recovery operations from a project management perspective could provide a useful approach that may lead to improved outcomes within this very challenging area.



This document has been peer reviewed.