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From Strangers to Neighbors

From Strangers to Neighbors
Post-Disaster Resettlement and Community Building in Honduras

Presenting case studies of two Honduran resettlements that have experienced very different outcomes, this book identifies the type and quality of support that resettlements need in order to become successful communities.

December 2017
Active (available)
$29.95
216 pages | 6 x 9 | 2 b&w photos, 5 b&w charts/graphs, 20 b&w tables |
ISBN: 
978-1-4773-1409-8
Description: 

Natural disasters, the effects of climate change, and political upheavals and war have driven tens of millions of people from their homes and spurred intense debates about how governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) should respond with long-term resettlement strategies. Many resettlement efforts have focused primarily on providing infrastructure and have done little to help displaced people and communities rebuild social structure, which has led to resettlement failures throughout the world. So what does it take to transform a resettlement into a successful community?

This book offers the first long-term comparative study of social outcomes through a case study of two Honduran resettlements built for survivors of Hurricane Mitch (1998) by two different NGOs. Although residents of each arrived from the same affected neighborhoods and have similar demographics, twelve years later one resettlement wrestles with high crime, low participation, and low social capital, while the other maintains low crime, a high degree of social cohesion, participation, and general social health. Using a multi-method approach of household surveys, interviews, ethnography, and analysis of NGO and community documents, Ryan Alaniz demonstrates that these divergent resettlement trajectories can be traced back to the type and quality of support provided by external organizations and the creation of a healthy, cohesive community culture. His findings offer important lessons and strategies that can be utilized in other places and in future resettlement policy to achieve the most effective and positive results.

Contents: 
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. The Perilous Path: From Resettlement to Community
  • Chapter 2. The Consequences of Hurricane Mitch
  • Chapter 3. Community Development in the Context of Disaster Resettlement
  • Chapter 4. Measuring Successful Resettlement
  • Chapter 5. Suyapa
  • Chapter 6. Pino Alto
  • Chapter 7. From Strangers to Neighbors: The Development of Community
  • Appendix
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
Author: 

RYAN ALANIZ
San Luis Obispo, California

Alaniz is an associate professor of sociology at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He is also affiliated with the United Nations University and the Resilient Communities Research Institute.

Reviews: 

“Given the rising number of natural disasters, increasing urbanization, and settlement in vulnerable areas, decision makers and scholars alike can benefit from this book’s findings. It has the potential to have a strong impact on the academic and policy worlds precisely because of its original datasets, its detailed understanding of the policies used in these Honduran resettlement communities, and the author’s extended time in country, which provides rich details about daily lives.”
Daniel Aldrich, Northeastern University, author of Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery

“This book is unique. There are no other books that I know of that have the methodological case setup and country-level focus of this text.”
Michael L. Dougherty, Illinois State University, coeditor of Mining in Latin America: Critical Approaches to the New Extraction