Posts Categorised: Natural Disasters

Human error during the multilevel responses to three Australian bushfire disasters

Manly surfer/Flickr

“The scale and complexity associated with the coordinated response to natural disasters inevitably produce human errors. However, little is known about the frequency and distribution of human error at different levels of coordination during disasters. The purpose of this research was to explore this phenomenon for selected catastrophic bushfires in Australia.”

Source: Brooks, B., Curnun, S., Bearman, C., & Owen C. (2018). J Contingencies and Crisis Management, and available from this link (subscription journal).

Recipe for disaster: building policy on shaky ground

Native Daphne

“This report tallies the successes and failures of the post-earthquake recovery effort, so we can learn from both to do better next time. The most important way in which government can do better in the next disaster is by providing greater regulatory and policy certainty. Some of that requires better contingency planning before the event. We concur with the auditor-general that a recovery agency should have access to necessary “off the shelf” internal control and operational functions from Day 1. It should not have to develop them from scratch when the urgent and pressing needs are its external activities. Similarly, councils can incorporate disaster contingencies in their longterm plans.”

Source: Wilkinson, B., & Crampton, E.(2018). The New Zealand Initiative and available from this link (open access).

The Natural Hazards Partnership: A public-sector collaboration across the UK for natural hazard disaster risk reduction


“This paper presents the NHP as a successful example of a national collaboration of public bodies with a common goal. The partnership’s organization and scientific approach is discussed alongside a review of activities and deliverables developed to help realize the NHP’s vision: ‘To be the UK’s trusted voice for natural hazards advice’. The NHP has overcome collaborative challenges of multi-organizational, geographically dispersed working by building common ground, respect and trust.”

Source: Hemingway, R., & Gunawan, O. (2017). International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction and available from this link (open access).

Reviewing high-risk and high-consequence decisions: finding a safer way


“This paper critiques the adversarial processes used in inquiries following significant natural hazard events, in particular bushfires. Shortcomings identified with current practices suggest post-event inquiries should adopt restorative practices rather than traditional adversarial procedures. Restorative justice is a concept established in the area of criminal law. It is argued that the use of restorative practices could assist in formulating inquiries that would assist all parties to collectively resolve how to deal with a aftermath of the disaster and deal with its implications for the future. Restorative practices would enable a focus on both short- and long-term recovery.”

Source: Eburn, M., & Dovers, S. (2017). Australian Journal of Emergency Management, and available from this link (open access).

Evaluations of post-disaster recovery: A review of practice material

Coral Tree flower

“This paper reviews evaluations of post-disaster recovery efforts. The focus is on operational material and other ‘grey literature’ from disasters that have occurred in Australia, New Zealand and internationally. We develop a typology that categorises disaster events and includes whether evaluations were undertaken; the methods used; and whether the evaluations focused on the processes or outcomes of the recovery program. The review finds a lack of evaluation of post-disaster recovery.”

Source: Ryan, R., Wortley, L., & Ní Shé, É. (2016). Evidence Base and available from this link (open access).

Risk ownership framework for emergency management policy and practice

Collins Beach, Manly

“The purpose of this framework is to support better strategic management of risks associated with natural hazards. It does this through providing a series of tasks that support the allocation of risk ownership as part of strategic planning activities. This framework is not intended to replace current risk processes, but to enhance and add value to what is already there.”

Source: Young, C., Jones, R., Kumnick, M., Christopher, G. & Casey, N. (2017). Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and available from this link (open access)

Coordination of federal, state and local disaster management arrangements in Australia: lessons from the UK and the US


Lilly Pilly/PaperMonkey

“This document discusses the gaps in Australia’s emergency management legislation and the coordination of federal, state and local disaster management arrangements in Australia. It analyses key legislation from the UK and US jurisdictions and reveals important lessons that could be adopted in Australia.”

Source: Eburn, M. (2017). ASPI Insights and avilable from this link (open access).

Improving the resilience of disaster management organizations through virtual communities of practice: A Delphi study


Lilly Pilly/PaperMonkey

“A resilience-focused approach leads organizations to improve the management of disasters through being aware, flexible, trained, and prepared, having committed top managers and staff, and being part of a wider network of stakeholders. Based on the organizational resilience principles identified in the literature, this article analyses the potential for improvement of the organizational resilience of disaster management organizations through their involvement in virtual communities of practice (VCoPs).”

Source: Gimenez, R., Hernantes, J., Labaka, L., Hiltz, S. R., & Turoff, M. (2017). Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, and available from this link (subscription journal).

Whole of Government: the Solution to Managing Crises?

Kangaroo Paw/PaperMonkey

“The frequency and severity of natural disasters has placed a clear emphasis on the role of governments in responding to these crises. During the past decade, disaster events have had a significant impact on the relevant communities as well as raising questions regarding the role of government and the bureaucratic coordination of planning and response processes. These events have placed a renewed focus on the ability of governments to plan, prepare, and respond in an effective way to crises. They have also tended to indicate that there remain serious challenges to government coordination and that crises create a unique series of challenges for the public sector.”

Source: Carayannopoulos, G. (2017). Australian Journal of Public Administration, 76(2), and available from this link (subscription journal).

Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination in Emergencies: Towards a Predictable Model outlines

Fishing in Manly/Flickr

“The publication provides clear guidance to policy makers, practitioners and those involved in disaster preparedness, on the national coordination architecture and mechanisms for managing international assistance in five priority countries, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and the Philippines. A resource for regional organisations, national disaster management authorities, government agencies with a role in disaster management and international disaster assistance, military, civil defence and police organisations, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, NGOs and UN agencies, will support all actors planning for and/or responding to disasters in the five priority countries.”

Source: Australian Civil-Military Centre (ACMC) and available from this link (open access).