Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Julian Muhammad


AbstractIdentifying and exploring the factors inhibiting implementation of a comprehensive disaster management framework to guide the operations of disaster management is a public policy imperative for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Despite the increased frequency and severity of natural and human-made disasters during the past decade, challenges continue with ensuring effective levels of preparedness for responding agencies in Trinidad and Tobago. The current study explored the lived experiences of first responding agencies that operate without a comprehensive disaster management framework. Two theoretical frameworks served as the foundation for this study: the advocacy coalition framework and the multiple streams framework, which focused on organizational behavior as it relates to the policy process. Using semi structured interviews; data were collected from 15 participants: five emergency managers, five first responders, and five policymakers from different regions in Trinidad and Tobago who have experience in disaster management. The data were analyzed using a modified van Kaam method with member checking and active processes for ensuring trustworthiness of the data. The themes that emerged were systemic failure; issues of collaboration; issues of policy formation; lack of modern legislation; barriers that inhibit disaster management and education and training. The results indicated that for effective disaster management, there must be enhanced interagency collaboration among all first responders. The results of this study may promote positive social change by providing information necessary for enhancing effective interagency collaboration across agencies to improve the overall approach to disaster management in Trinidad and Tobago.