Posts Categorised: Emergency Management

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).

Enhancing Learning in Emergency Services Organisational Work

Fishing in Manly/Flickr

“The paper outlines key themes from the work-related learning literature and introduces a modified experiential learning framework to ground real-world experiences. Interviews were conducted with 18 emergency services practitioners. The findings provide examples of the broad challenges that agencies need to manage to enhance and sustain learning. These include shifting value from action post an event, to reflection, focusing on the bigger picture and allowing enough time to effectively embed new practices after an emergency.”

Source: Owen, C., Brooks, B., Curnin, S., & Bearman, C. (2018).  Australian Journal of Public Administration and available from this link (subscription journal).

How can governments enable and support community-led disaster recovery?


“This is a preliminary report of a continuing study. These results show the complex interplay between communities, governments, and community sector organisations in disaster recovery, and the varying expectations and experiences of those involved. These initial findings show potential to influence policies, processes and systems across governments and communities, and better support community-led recovery.”

Source: Owen, C. (2018). Australian Journal of Emergency Management and available from this link (open access).

Leading, Not Managing, in Crisis


“Imagine you were the person at BP headquarters in 2010 who got the first call: A drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico had exploded and sunk, killing 11 workers—and allowing oil to leak into the ocean at a rate of 43 barrels a minute. What would you do? Which colleagues would you convene, and which of the myriad problems would you address first? Would you put out a press statement or a tweet or send a spokesperson to the scene? Would your focus be on managing the situation—or actually leading the company through it?” The author reviews a number of books on crisis leadership including one held by AIPM Library.

Source: McGinn, D. (2017). Harvard Business Review and available from this link (personal registration required).

Report on Government Services 2018

Sydney Skyline/M. Hardy

The annual Report on Government Services (RoGS) provides information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia. Two sections of interest to the public safety sector: Part C: Justice and Part D: Emergency Management

Source: Australia. Productivity Commission and available from this link (open access).

Communities Responding to Disasters: Planning for Spontaneous Volunteers

Manly Beach

“This handbook draws on and complements current and ongoing activity in spontaneous volunteer management, and builds on the capability and knowledge of organisations and individuals across the disaster resilience sector in Australia and internationally.”

Source: Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (2017) and available from this link (open access). 

The Revolution in Emergency Communications

Early morning light on North Head/M. Hardy

“PERF decided to conduct a Critical Issues in Policing project on emergency communications because the world of emergency communications is about to undergo an upheaval, as a result of two new technologies: Next Generation 911 systems and the FirstNet wireless broadband network for police and other first responders. The implementation of NG911 and FirstNet will augment traditional mission-critical Land Mobile Radio (LMR) narrowband voice systems. This report explores NG911 and FirstNet and their impact on police agencies and the emergency communications centers that support the police.”

Source: Police Executive Research Forum 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).

The value of volunteers, volunteering and volunteerism (3Vs) project

Manly Beach/Flickr

“The Value of Volunteers, Volunteering and Volunteerism (3Vs) project began on the premise that there are currently no credible or comprehensive methods or models to fully understand the value of emergency management volunteers and volunteering to the Victorian community. Nor is it possible to place a holistic value on volunteerism overall. The contribution and value distribution cannot be quantified, and at present can only be demonstrated through effective story-telling, media messaging or standard lines. A better understanding of service, people, products and program value is important to sustainability, effective investment, strategy and modelling of capability, capacity and costs.”

Source: Emergency Management Victoria and available from this link (open access).

From research outcome to agency change: mapping a learning trajectory of opportunities and challenges

Manly dawn/Griffin

“To create the best conditions for organisational learning a literature review of learning lessons in emergency management was conducted. Practitioners were also interviewed to understand the contexts and challenges faced in implementing research insights and in facilitating change. This paper presents two studies that examine aspects of organisational learning. In the first study, the challenges to learning from action and experience and from reflection and planning are examined. In the second study, the systems for learning used in emergency services organisations are considered and a preliminary theory of research utilisation maturity is proposed. The initiatives reported help to maximise the value of research and supports innovation through utilisation.”

Source: Owen, C., Krusel, N., Bearman, C., and Brooks, B. (2017) Australian Journal of Emergency Management and available from this link (open access).