Between 2020 and 2023, IFRC Disaster Law completed a global research project on law and disaster recovery. The project was conducted in three stages. First, a Literature Review on Law and Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction was completed in 2020. Subsequently, a set of eight in-depth country reports on law and disaster recovery were prepared. Each country report comprehensively mapped the legal, policy and planning framework for disaster recovery in the selected country and examined how that framework operated during the recovery from a recent, major disaster. The country reports focus on the following countries and disasters: Australia (the 2019–2020 Black Summer Bushfires); Brazil (the 2019 Brumadinho Dam Collapse); Italy (the 2016–2017 Central Italy Earthquakes); Indonesia (the 2018 Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami); Mozambique (Cyclones Idai, Kenneth and Eloise, which occurred in 2019 and 2021); Sierra Leone (the 2017 Freetown Landslides); Spain (the 2019 Cold Drop); and The Bahamas (Hurricane Dorian, which occurred in 2019).
The third and final stage of the project was the publication of a report analysing the findings from the literature review and country reports. The report, entitled Laws, Policies and Plans for Disaster Recovery: Multi-Country Synthesis Report, finds that disaster recovery is often overlooked in domestic disaster laws, policies and plans. It identifies that a lack of legal provisions and detailed pre-planning can result in recovery arrangements being improvised in haste after disasters. Another key issue is that recovery planning and institutional arrangements often do not encompass long-term recovery. As a result, recovery programming and funding can dry up long before communities have fully recovered. The report provides a detailed set of recommendations about how laws, policies, plans and institutional arrangements can be developed in advance of disasters to underpin a comprehensive recovery system and ensure readiness for recovery.