improving our understanding & potential for community engagement

Report
IMPROVING OUR UNDERSTANDING &
POTENTIAL FOR COMMUNITY
ENGAGEMENT IN DISASTER RISK
REDUCTION
Jessica Petersen – Canterbury CDEM Group
William Hurtes – University of Canterbury
Chris Webb – Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
Tertiary Community Engagement Summit
30 August 2013
Christchurch, New Zealand
Key Components
 Disaster risk reduction
 Community engagement
Disaster Risk Reduction
 What is it?
 Identifying and analysing long term risks from hazards
 Taking steps to eliminate and/or reducing their likelihood and
consequences
 Why is it important?
 National CDEM Strategy
 Promotes sustainable management of hazards
 Encourages acceptable levels of risk
 Current Situation
 Largely driven by local authorities
Community Engagement
 How long is a piece of string?
 Questions & debates abound
 What is a community?
 Engaging the community?
 Informing; consulting;
 An engaged community
 Empowerment
 Participatory community involvement
So why engage the community in
disaster risk reduction?
 Disasters:
 impact on people
 affect and disrupt communities
 disrupt the systems that serve, organise and sustain
communities
 notion of resilience implies individual, group &
community action prior to, during and following a
disaster
Key points emerging
 Potentially Community Engagement provides:
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Better understanding of the risks
Opportunity for more control over the risks
Complementary approach to “top down” planning
Joined up thinking rather than stitched up thinking (Shaw, 2005)
More effective use of local resources
Potential for integrating the views of multiple stakeholders
Greater level of trust between communities and local authorities
However it is challenging to:
 Identify & represent the social diversity of communities
 Clearly define a community – confusion & lack of focussed
action
 Balance the focus on majority rule & that of minority groups
 Communities are not internally homogeneous, nor
harmonious
 Develop the competencies & social resources
 Align & balance community perceptions & interpretations
 Personalise and disseminate hazard information
It is not a PANACEA but....
 It does offer a range of opportunities for progressive risk
reduction measures
 Can allow the coming together of lay and technical expertise
 Has the potential to bring risk reduction measures closer to
the local level
 Has the potential to make policy makers and planners more
accountable
 Level of engagement will depend on context & aims of those
initiating the risk assessments
Community engagement
approaches:
 Is to understand and give voice to local
perceptions of risk reality through local
people’s own analysis of challenges and
capacities.
Engagement
1. What is your group’s understanding of
community?
2. What types of communities should to be
involved in the DRR process?
3. What do we perceive engagement to be in this
context?
4. What strategies could you recommend to meet
the DRR & community engagement objectives?
Jessica Petersen
Canterbury CDEM Group
03 379 9481
[email protected]
William Hurtes
University of Canterbury
027 344 4068
[email protected]
Chris Webb
Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
9 921 9999 ext 7677
[email protected]

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