Rated 2.5 of 5.
Level of importance:
Rated 3 of 5.
Level of validity:
Rated 3 of 5.
Level of completeness:
Rated 2 of 5.
Level of comprehensibility:
Rated 2 of 5.
|ScienceOpen disciplines:||Earth & Environmental sciences, Social & Behavioral Sciences|
|Keywords:||DRR including CCA, widening participation, participatory approaches, participation, Climate, Sustainable development, community-based DRR and CCA|
This manuscript provides an interesting introduction and analysis of community-based DRR in the context of flooding events in Japan. Its strength is its empirical insights into the normative, and often politicized, concept of community-based DRR. It offers an interesting perspective of how ideas of participation and “wider” participation have been approached and implemented across four community-based projects. The paper would, however, benefit from a stronger positioning within the existing literature, a stronger framework for analysis as well as a stronger presentation and emphasis on the central argument and contribution.
The overall flow and consistency of the argument
From the abstract and introduction, the main contribution appears ambiguous. Generic references are made to several large discussions currently taking place within DRR/CCA scholarship without being directly linked to the main conclusions, findings and concepts of the paper (e.g. participation versus community engagement, DRR versus CCA approaches and the notion of widening participation contra discussions of types and ideals of participation). Especially, the first sections of the paper appear fragmented and confuse the reader at times.
The purpose of the paper is, in my reading, to explore the dimensions of participation in DRR through four specific projects and to discuss the (often) neglected barriers to broad and wide inclusion of people living in the communities in question. The paper would benefit from emphasizing this contribution from the beginning and building the argument around this main contribution.
Finally, the authors should write out the full definition and understanding of the main concepts early on. Especially the idea of the "widening participation approach" and how it relates to other types of community-based DRR is difficult to grasp from the introductory text and should be explained in more details to understand the very premise of the paper.
The use of, referencing to and positioning within the existing literature on community-based DRR and democracy theory.
The paper positions itself within broader discussions of DRR, CCA and questions of participation in democratic community-based DRR. This positioning needs to be elaborated and exemplified with a much stronger use of the existing literature and debates on community participation in CCA/DRR. One concrete example is the authors' references to the existing discourses of community-based DRR in the literature. The paper argues that the current literature focuses on “types” or “success factors” but without describing what these strands of literature contain in detail, without referencing the vast amount of literature on participation in community-based DRR and without engaging in details with the problems and pitfalls associated with existing approaches and how this paper will contribute to solving some of these. A more comprehensive literature review is needed as well as a more detailed description and exploration of the “widening approach” applied and explored in the case study.
Moreover, a deeper engagement with the existing scholarship would help the authors create a more coherent conceptual framework for the analysis (see point below).
The paper uses four different community-based DRR projects as the main point of the departure. It is, however, a bit unclear how each of these contributes to a deeper and more general understanding of community-based DRR and CCA. The authors write that all of them are considered good practices in Japan but it is evident from the analysis that they are quite different in scope and set-up and how the relate to questions of DRR and CCA. Some reflections on this as well as the extent to which these projects can be used to draw more general conclusions about the widening approach would strengthen the section.
The (lack) of conceptual framework and structuring of analysis
The analysis holds many interesting details and empirical insights into how community-based DRR can be more inclusive in its orientation toward the community. Different strategies are presented as part of the description of each project; however, it is unclear how the authors arrived at these different “types” of widening participation and how the authors arrived at the current format of presenting the empirical insights. The analysis would benefit from a stronger connection and integration with the theoretical and conceptual foundations and a more structured analytical framework would help the reader follow the analysis and results as they are presented.