Learning from Disaster Responses


On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan’s Tohoku region, triggering a nuclear meltdown in Fukushima. The 3/11 disaster was one of the most devastating to strike a developed country in modern times. JCIE supported the international response by serving as a bridge between overseas donors and Japanese groups working in the disaster zone, facilitating coordination among American and Japanese humanitarian organizations, and disseminating information and analysis to support and connect responders.  JCIE helped raise and channel nearly $7 million to the disaster zone through several JCIE-managed funds and through its facilitation and support for numerous overseas donors. It also conducted a series of studies and exchanges designed to identify best practices in disaster philanthropy and document lessons from the response.

JCIE has created a website that compiles information about the disaster, the growing role of international disaster philanthropy, and the responses of nongovernmental organizations and others around the world that offer lessons to help the international community better deal with future disasters. JCIE also reflected on the lessons learned from the disaster response in this 10-year anniversary page


Supporting Disaster Survivors in Japan

Sachiko Aoki and Kimberly Gould Ashizawa


This report highlights Kamaishi City Social Welfare Council, Kodomo no Empowerment Iwate, Kurashi no Supporters, and SakuraNet, four nonprofit organizations that received $2.8 million in United Way Wo…

Getting International Disaster Philanthropy Right: Lessons from Japan's 2011 Tsunami

James Gannon


This report looks closely at the US’s philanthropic response to Japan’s March 2011 tsunami, drawing lessons on what can be done in future responses to overseas disasters, especially in other developed…

Innovative Disaster Responses: Model Approaches from Japan's 3/11 Disaster

Atsuko Geiger, Kaede Kawauchi, and Serena Bellamy


In the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the role of the Japanese civil society in the recovery and reconstruction process, this report analyzes four innovative projects that can be emulated…

Strengthening US-Japan NGO Partnerships on Humanitarian Responses—Lessons from 3/11

Japan Center for International Exchange


This two-year study assesses the effectiveness of Japanese NGOs’ international partnerships in the response to the 3/11 disaster. Based on interviews with key figures from Japanese and Western NGOS, d…

Bringing People Together: Assessing the Impact of 3/11 on US-Japan Grassroots Exchange

Atsuko Geiger


Dr. Atsuko Geiger analyzes the depth of preexisting US-Japan grassroots ties, which was made evident by the international response to Japan’s 3/11 disaster, and also how these efforts can continue to…

International Philanthropy and Disasters in Developed Countries: The US Response to Japan’s 3.11 Disaster

James Gannon

July 2014

An analysis of the US philanthropic response to the 3/11 disaster in Japan and the challenges of donor coordination for disasters in developed countries.