University volunteer programs for post-disaster recovery: The case of post-tsunami Japan


  • Kannapa Pongponrat Service Innovation Program, College of Innovation, Thammasat University, Phranakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand


Japan tsunami, post-disaster, student university, student volunteer, volunteer tourism


The concept and practice of student volunteerism is active in various university settings worldwide. It aims to engage students in society outside the classroom to
promote their sense of social responsibility as citizens of their respective countries. The paper explores and discusses the post-disaster volunteer programs launched by
three Japanese universities after the 2011 tsunami. It is based on a qualitative research conducted through case study with a meso level analysis. In-depth interviews and
focus group discussion were implemented for data collection. The data were analysed using content analysis approach to identify university volunteer programs development. The research shows the emergence of actively developed student volunteer programs in the early stages following the disaster. The volunteer programs incorporate volunteer recruitment, project identification and implementation, network development and extension, training and capacity building for student volunteers, and a platform for self-reflection by student volunteers. Common issues, strengths and weaknesses among the three cases of the respective universities are discussed in detail. In conclusion, volunteer tourism is considered a potentially important mechanism for post-disaster support programs.


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How to Cite

Pongponrat, K. (2021). University volunteer programs for post-disaster recovery: The case of post-tsunami Japan. Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences, 42(1), 31–36. Retrieved from



Research articles