Despite efforts to improve community resilience to disasters, over the past 25 years the number and economic impact of disasters has increased each year. The rising number of disasters in developing countries is of particular concern because disaster losses and the required recovery efforts may delay development investments. Due to the complexities of disaster recovery, an interdisciplinary perspective is important in assessing recovery outcomes. In addition, while previous studies have established that communities have varying levels of vulnerability and resilience, there has been little research into how such conditions enable a community to recover after a disaster. Understanding the conditions that lead to recovery is fundamental to improving a community’s ability to recover after a disaster. Unfortunately, due to the depth of knowledge required for qualitative disaster recovery studies, there have been few cross-case comparative studies in which researchers link causal conditions to post-disaster recovery. This research transforms our understanding of recovery through a cross-case comparison of what pre-disaster factors and recovery strategies (combined or in isolation) lead to successful postdisaster recovery. Specifically, this research (1) identified recovery indicators and important causal conditions for community recovery across multiple disciplinary perspectives (2) measuredcausal conditions and recovery indicators for villages in India affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; and (3) used qualitative comparative analysis to determine what combinations of conditions led to recovery in the case study communities. This dissertation contributes to a better understanding of why communities recover differently from disasters and the pathways that lead to different recovery outcomes. The results of this study will allow community planners to prioritize and focus their efforts on the conditions that best strengthen the community’s ability to recover from a disaster. It also contributes to the development of a disaster recovery framework which can be expanded through future research. 

Jordan, E. (2013). "Pathways to Community Recovery: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Post-Disaster Outcomes." Dissertation, University of Colorado Boulder.