Social capital in community response after Cyclone Winston: Case study of three different communities in Fiji
This item is part of: Boarin, P., Haarhoff, E., Manfredini, M., Mohammadzadeh, M., Premier, A., (2021). Rethinking Sustainable Pacific Rim Territories. Proceedings of the 2020 APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Hub PhD Symposium, Future Cities Research Hub, School of Architecture and Planning of the University of Auckland. ISBN: 978-0-473-53616-9
This paper examines the roles of communities’ response to Tropical Cyclone (TC) Winston in 2016. The paper will aim to understand how communities responded to TC Winston and to analyze social capital in their response activities. The study investigates three community case studies in Fiji where community prioritization of activities and community responses used both bonding and bridging social capital. The data was collected by using household interviews, focus group discussions and key informant interview. This study highlights that communities in Fiji have potential to coordinate response activities internally before external sources of assistance or aid is given. Strong family networks, community cooperation (solesolevaki), existing governance structure for good leadership and the interactions with religious organizations in the communities are several factors that contribute to effective community response. Strengthening social capital in communities in Fiji has the potential to form a safety net for all communities whilst waiting for government assistance and other relief organization to arrive. Findings from this research highlights the community’s capacity in relation to social capital and contributions towards strengthening linkage between government and community in Fiji.