The value of NGOs in disaster management and governance in South Korea and Japan

Eun Seon Park, D. K. Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The roles of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in disaster management has been increasing due to the growing complexity of the catastrophe, which has become difficult for government alone to manage. Against this backdrop NGOs have emerged as a critical sector for disaster management. NGOs act as catalysts and intermediaries by enhancing communication and accelerating collective actions to improve community resilience. This study examines the values of NGOs in disaster management and governance in Japan and South Korea. Japan is a disaster-prone state impacted by severe disasters. Few studies have been conducted about how NGOs contribute to disaster governance and management in South Korea and Japan. The authors conducted qualitative research involving 65 in-depth interviews in South Korea and Japan using grounded theory to explore NGOs' value. This paper confirms that diverse NGOs engage in all phases of disaster management and are legally supported by the law in both countries. During the response phase, NGOs swiftly find unmet needs and distribute relief supplies. The activities of NGOs of South Korea and Japan for marginalized people were the most distinctive. In the recovery phase, NGOs have emphasized the importance of psychological therapy. There are some differences in NGOs in the two countries in the response phase: Japan has an intermediary organization that manages volunteers, and NGOs in South Korea, by contrast, have no comparable organization, which has resulted in confusion and conflicts. Both countries faced similar limitations: lack of resources and intense competition among NGOs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102739
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Safety Research
  • Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'The value of NGOs in disaster management and governance in South Korea and Japan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this