Lessons Learned

NGO Responses

Policy Recommendations: Enhancing US-Japan Cooperation on Humanitarian Responses JCIE & MERCY CORPS | JANUARY 2016
Policy recommendations from Japanese Diet members and NGO leaders who took part in bilateral discussions in Washington DC on ways to help NGOs serve as strategic partners for the Japanese and US governments in humanitarian responses.

Strengthening US-Japan NGO Partnerships on Humanitarian Responses—Lessons from 3/11 JCIE | 2015
JCIE assesses how well partnerships between Japanese NGOs and their overseas counterparts actually worked after 3/11 and what needs to be done to ensure they can collaborate effectively the next time disaster strikes.

The Growing Role of NGOs in Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Assistance in East Asia YUKIE OSA | MARCH 2013 | JCIE
Yukie Osa of AAR Japan (Association for Aid and Relief, Japan) examines how NGOs have become key players in Asia in JCIE’s A Growing Force.

Forging US-Japan Civil Society Cooperation Out of the 3/11 Disaster JAMES GANNON | JANUARY 2012 | Mansfield Foundation
Essay by JCIE/USA Executive Director James Gannon, published in the Maureen & Mike Mansfield Foundation’s Japan Moves Forward.

3/11 Disaster Relief and Recovery Journal JCIE | MARCH 2011-DECEMBER 2012
This compilation of brief updates from the first two years after the disaster provides a unique look at how NGOs engage in post-disaster assistance in the initial phases and how their work shifts over time.

Innovative Approaches to Community Revitalization

Innovative Disaster Responses: Model Approaches from Japan’s 3/11 Disaster ATSUKO GEIGER, KAEDE KAWAUCHI, SERINA BELLAMY | 2015 | JCIE
This JCIE report examines four innovative projects carried out after 3/11 that can be emulated elsewhere around the world after a disaster has struck.

Slideshow: 10 Innovative Ideas from the 3/11 Response   JCIE | MARCH 2013

US-Japan Cooperation

Bringing People Together: Assessing the Impact of 3/11 on US-Japan Grassroots Exchange  ATSUKO GEIGER | 2015 | JCIE
A JCIE report looks at the flurry of US-Japan grassroots exchange that emerged after 3/11 and the surprisingly large impact they have had on bilateral relations.

Preparing for Future Disasters: Strategic Assistance and the US-Japan Alliance THOMAS B. FARGO, NOBORU YAMAGUCHI, RYO SAHASHI, KEI KOGA & ALISON SZALWINSKI | JUNE 2015 | National Bureau of Asian Research & JCIE
Recommendations for steps to improve US-Japan alliance coordination on humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations in the Asia-Pacific. (Also available in Japanese.)

Strategic Assistance: Regional Reactions and Geopolitical Challenges RYO SAHASHI, ABRAHAM M. DENMARK, KEI KOGA & GREG CHAFFIN  | NOVEMBER 2014 | National Bureau of Asian Research & JCIE
This joint report argues that the United States and Japan should elevate humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) to be a key component of their combined regional strategy.

Friendship Across Borders: Nearly 100 US Sister City Organizations Raise Relief Funds for Japan TOSHIHIRO MENJU & ATSUKO GEIGER | SEPTEMBER 2012 | JCIE
A JCIE survey finds that 95 American towns, cities, and states with sister cities in Japan organized fundraising campaigns, raising more than $2.4 million for earthquake relief.

International Philanthropy

Supporting Disaster Survivors in Japan SACHIKO AOKI, KIMBERLY GOULD ASHIZAWA | 2019 | JCIE
A report highlighting the work of four innovative nonprofit organizations in Tohoku that received funding from a United Way Worldwide (UWW) grant on behalf of the generosity of Polo Ralph Lauren, as well as from others.

Getting International Disaster Philanthropy Right: Lessons from Japan’s 2011 Tsunami JAMES GANNON | JULY 2016 | JCIE
JCIE analyzes successes and shortcomings in the US philanthropic response to 3/11 and offers lessons for the next time a disaster strikes.

Related article: Learning from Japan’s Tsunami: Six Steps to Improve International Disaster Philanthropy JAMES GANNON | AUGUST 2016 | CENTER FOR DISASTER PHILANTHROPY BLOG

International Philanthropy and Disasters in Developed Countries: The US Response to Japan’s 3.11 Disaster JAMES GANNON | JULY 2014 | JCIE
Analysis of the US philanthropic response and the challenges of donor coordination for disasters in developed countries.

Surveys & Analysis: US Giving for the 3/11 Disaster JCIE | MARCH 2012~MARCH 2016
Annual JCIE survey of American donors for relief and recovery efforts after 3/11.

Database: Donors, Recipients, and Overseas Grantmaking for the Japan Disaster
Searchable database of listings for roughly $1 billion in international grants and donations by overseas organizations to Japanese nonprofits and others for the Japan disaster response.


Resources from Other Organizations

Many other organizations have also sought to identify lessons from the March 2011 disaster. Below are some notable analyses.



3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan RICHARD SAMUELS | MARCH  2013 | Cornell University Press

Comprehensive Review of Assistance from Overseas for the Great East Japan Earthquake IDCJ | MARCH 2014

Civil Society Responses

NGO Baseline Survey Report 2013 MERCYCORPS | MAY 2014

Joint Review Report on Relief Activities by the Civil Society JANIC | OCTOBER 2014

Rebuilding Community after the Great East Japan Earthquake JAPAN NPO CENTER | SEPTEMBER 2014

US-Japan Relations & Civil-Military Cooperation

Civil-Military Lessons Learned in the Response to the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake CFE-DMHA | OCTOBER 2012 | Liaison

Strengthening the Alliance: HA/DR Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific PEACE WINDS AMERICA | JUNE 2013

Partnership for Recovery and a Stronger Future: Standing with Japan After 3-11 CSIS | NOVEMBER 2011

Fukushima Nuclear Accident

The Fukushima Nuclear Accident and Crisis Management: Lessons for US–Japan Alliance Cooperation SPF | SEPTEMBER 2012

An Emerging Fukushima Model? ANDREW DEWIT | MAY 13, 2013 | Asia-Pacific Journal

10 Lessons from Fukushima: Reducing Risks and Protecting Communities from Nuclear Disasters FBPC | MARCH 2015

The Fukushima Daiichi Accident IAEA | 2015

The Official Report of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) [Executive Summary] NATIONAL DIET of JAPAN, NAIIC | JULY 2012

Fukushima in Review: A Complex Disaster, a Disastrous Response YOICHI FUNABASHI & KAY KITAZAWA | MARCH 2012 | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster MARK HOLT, RICHARD CAMPBELL, MARY BETH NIKITIN | JANUARY 18, 2012 | US Congressional Research Service

Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of US Nuclear Plants US NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL | 2014

Community Recovery

Tohoku Recovery: Challenges, Potentials and Future RAJIB SHAW (ED.) | 2015 | Springer

Sustainable Farming and Community Resilience: Lessons Learned in Minamata, Niigata, and Fukushima CSO NETWORK JAPAN | 2013

Gender and Disasters

Disaster Prevention and Reconstruction from a Gender Equal Society Perspective: Lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake GOVERNMENT of JAPAN | JUNE 2012

Good Practices on Economic Empowerment of Women in Post-Disaster Reconstruction in Tohoku and the Asia Pacific APEC | 2015

Women’s Leadership in Risk-Resilient Development: Good Practices and Lessons Learned UNISDR | 2015

Human Security

Human Security Approaches for Disaster Recovery and Resilience  MASAMINE JIMBA, TOMOKO SUZUKI, SUSAN HUBBARD | NOVEMBER 2011 | Japan Medical Association Journal

Human Security and Japan’s Triple Disaster: Responding to the 2011 Earthquake, Tsunami, and Fukushima Nuclear Crisis PAUL BACON, CHRISTOPHER HOBSON | 2015 | Routledge

Disaster Risk Reduction

Learning from Megadisasters (Knowledge Notes) WORLD BANK | OCTOBER 2012

Private Sector Strengths Applied: Good Practices in Disaster Risk Reduction from Japan UNISDR | 2013