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International Journal of Public Health and Clinical Sciences (IJPHCS)
Open Access e-journal ISSN : 2289-7577


Arifah A.R., Mohd Tariq M.N., Muhamad Hanafiah Juni


Background: Decision making during disaster management is a challenging task because of the uncertain environment and involvement of multiple stakeholders. Decision makings types can be unstructured, semi structured or structured according to the disaster situation and phase of disaster. Decision making during disasters is crucial to ensure that every decision taken reduces impact from disaster to human life.

Objective: The objective of this review is to identify the appropriate decision-making type according to the phases in the disaster management cycle accordingly.

Materials and Methods: Scoping review base on the PRISMA diagram were conducted from four databases. Combination of keywords were adapted for each database. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied. A total of 21 articles were synthesized base on the three types of decision-making types following four phases of disaster management cycle. Data was extracted base on an agreed upon framework of data chart. 

Result: Information on decision types identified were synthesised according to the four phases in the disaster management cycle emerged. Findings are distributed evenly across all types of disaster that is floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis. For the mitigation and preparedness phase, the two decision-making types that were commonly observed were the unstructured and structured type, while during the response and recovery phase all three-decision making unstructured, semi-structured and structured type is represented. Decisions are made by various levels of management according to the level of information available and certainty of a situation. The predominant decision-making type for disaster management during each phase is the unstructured decision making which is usually adopted by the top or middle management. Unstructured decision making involves making decision in uncertain environment.

Conclusion: Decision making type applies according to situations and the level of decision-maker making the decision. Unstructured decision-making type emerged as predominant in all phases of natural disaster management cycle due to uncertainty posed by disaster environment.

Keywords: disaster management cycle, decision- making, structure, unstructured, semi-structured

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