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Сivil sосiеty, sосiаl сарitаl аnd sосiаl сарасity building Essay Example

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Сivil sосiеty, sосiаl сарitаl аnd sосiаl сарасity building


The civil society plays a crucial role in building social capacity by strengthening social capital and building social resilience. Civil society can be said to be a product of social interactions and they networks arising from these interactions; civil society is thus built from the membership in networks. The terms may be closely related but can never be interchanged to mean the same thing (Ozerdem & Jacoby, 2006, p.74). Civil society networks in developed countries work in amore formalized many while compared to the informal networks that operate in developing countries (Shaw & Izumi 2014, p.17). Whichever the case, civil society plays crucial roles especially after disasters; this is when their role is realized. Developing countries are more prone to disasters that arise from many factors among them failure to invest in disaster risk reduction strategies. Myanmar is one of the countries that is prone to disasters like flooding, earthquakes and cyclones in the world. People living in the rural areas are more vulnerable to the disasters because the lack information and linkages on how to address the disasters. This paper looks at how Y care International, a civil society group is committed in ensuring that it has changed the lives of the people through building social capital and resilience.


Since the 2008 Nargis Cyclone, many policies have been proposed from the national level to enhance disaster preparedness mechanism to the citizens (Green 2014, .3). However, the impacts of the national policy to trickle down to the local populations take longer time yet the people in the rural areas a much affected by disasters. Y Care International has invested much of its time and resources to built strong social networks as well as mutual support mechanisms to help local communities prepare, respond and stand up after a disaster. Y Care International is interested in changing the lives of the young people positively so that they can be of help to their families, communities and society at large. Y Care International program incorporates disaster risk reduction course in hazard prone areas in order to educate the young people.

In so doing, Y Care International builds social capital by strengthening the social interactions between formal and informal groups as well as individual internal and external to the community. Two types of capital are identified in this context: bonding and bridging capital. Bonding capital is the tie that is shared among members of the community who share characteristic like religion or ethnicity. Such bonding can be referred to internal connections and leads to trust among members of the community with similar characteristics. While as bridging capital is the connection between individuals who are outside the immediate sphere of ethnicity or religion and aims at working with such individuals for shared benefits. Shared geographical space may bring together people with different shared characteristics and it helps the communities in mobilizing resources and community disaster preparedness (Carins 2009, p.25).

Civil society also helps to create a type of social capital referred to linking capital that tends to connect the village, the government, donors and any actor who intends to take part in resolving a disaster (Bannerman, Rashid, & Rejve, 2011, p.4). Y Care International works with the local groups, the youth and the government and bonds them in order to enhance the communities ability to reduce risks, manage their resources well and teach them disaster coping mechanisms. Y Care International improves the lives of the young generations and values their role in the community in matters of decision making and disaster reduction.


As has been found out in this paper, the role of the civil society cannot be easily established until after disasters strike. This paper as used the example of Y Care International and its role in capacity building in Myanmar. Civil society helps in building social capital by strengthening social interactions and building linkages between many actors in the society.


Bannerman, M., Rashid, H., & Rejve, K., 2011, NGO–government partnerships for disaster preparedness in Bangladesh. Humanitarian Exchange Magazines, Issue 5, 2011.

Carins, E. 2009, Crises in a New World Order: Challenging the Humanitarian project. London: Oxfam.

Green, K, 2014, The role of social capital in disaster Resilience, London: Y Care International.

Ozerdem, A. & Jacoby, T. 2006, Disaster Management and Civil Society: Earthquake Relief in Japan, Turkey and India. Tokyo: I.B.Tauris.

Shaw, R. & Izumi, T. 2014, Civil Society Organization and Disaster Risk Reduction: The Asian Dilemma. New York: Springer.