After the immediate effects of a disaster have passed, the disruptive impacts continue for many communities as they contend with the desire, ability, and wisdom of returning home to the affected area or whether to relocate permanently. Factors that affect household decisions to return include, for example, availability of housing and public services, financial constraints, and personal or social attachments.
ELI has worked in Japan and the United States to understand the factors influencing return -- and then inform policy policy and practice. This thematic area features events and publications investigating the factors influencing individual and household decisions to return, relocate, or remain in limbo:
- An April 2017 special issue of the Journal of Asian Development examined motivations for return, and features articles authored by ELI staff on "Barriers to Long-Term Return after the Great East Japan Earthquake: Lessons from Hirono Town", "Policy and Practical Considerations Affecting Return after Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy", and "In the Wake of the 2004 Great Indian Ocean Tsunami: Internally Displaced Persons and the Natural Disaster Response in the Maldives".
- ELI, in partnership with the US - Japan Research Institute (USJI), has hosted three seminars on factors affecting return, in September 2014, March 2015, and February 2016
- ELI has convened, co-sponsored, or participated in events in Hirono Town and Tokyo, Japan, related to the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011:
- Feb. 2014 (Tokyo): Consultation on "Improving Policy and Practice on Return Migration after Natural Disasters"
- June 2014 (Hirono Town): Workshop on "Improving Policy and Practice on Return Migration after Natural Disasters"
- Sep. 2015 (Hirono Town): Forum promoting voices of stakeholders with regard to disaster affected areas
- Mar. 2016 (Tokyo): Symposium on "Improving Policy and Practice on Return Migration after Natural Disasters"
- An ELI Research Report on "Slow Threats and Environmental Policy" was issued in January 2017
- An ELI Policy Brief on public acquisition of flood-ravaged and flood-prone property appeared in the July/August 2017 edition of the Environmental Forum