The importance of connected communities to flood resilience

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Research has shown the importance of social capital in disaster resilience. This presentation examines the implications of this for emergency managers and the use of social media in social capital formation related to disasters.

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The importance of connected communities to flood resilience

  1. 1. The importance of connectedcommunities to flood resilience Neil Dufty, Molino Stewart Pty Ltd
  2. 2. let’s start with a poemLOST IN CYBERSPACEIs there anyone out there?I am calling from afarCan anybody answer?Quiet is becoming par.I’m seeking cyber-friendsOnes who will always postMy site I will always tendTo become the perfect host.Ah, words start to fill the voidA message from a ‘friend’?Annoyed to being buoyedThis is a better trend.Oh, reading the mail from this otherI find it is only from my mother. ………………..BACK TO THE POEM LATER
  3. 3. a flood resilience framework Floodplain risk management Emergency Communitymanagement development
  4. 4. community developmentEducation: how Psychology: how people learn people behave Community development Sociology: how people connect
  5. 5. connected communities
  6. 6. social capital‘Social capital is the networks, norms, and socialtrust that facilitate coordination andcooperation for mutual benefit’ (Putnam, 1995)
  7. 7. types of social capital
  8. 8. social capital and resilienceMajor studies:• 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami• 2010 Haiti earthquake• Hurricane Katrina• Other major disasters
  9. 9. value of social capital‘Despite different time periods, cultures,government capacities, and levels ofdevelopment, all four cases showed that areaswith more social capital made effective andefficient recoveries from crises throughcoordinated efforts and cooperative activities’(Aldrich, 2012)
  10. 10. how it works• Deep levels of social capital serve as informal insurance and promote mutual assistance after a disaster.• Dense and numerous social ties help survivors solve collective action problems that stymie rehabilitation.• Strong social ties strengthen the voices of survivors and decrease the probability of leaving.
  11. 11. now back to the poemHowever, like the poem, on the downside:• although high levels of social capital reduced barriers to collective action for those in networked organisations, at the same time social capital reinforced obstacles to recovery for those outside of these organisations
  12. 12. and what about Victoria?• Social research in recent floods – indications of social capital• Community strength survey (source: DPCD) Indicator Victoria Regional Victoria Metropolitan ) Melbourne Can get help when needed 91% 92% 91% (‘bonding social capital’) Membership of organised groups 61% 64% 59% (‘bridging social capital’) Participation in organised sport 41% 43% 40% (‘bridging social capital’) Volunteering (‘linking social 33% 43% 28% capital’) On decision-making board or 19% 23% 17% committee (‘linking social capital’)
  13. 13. social mediaStudy of social media use in 2011 floods (OESC)• Bonding social capital (e.g. lending support to friends and family)• Bridging social capital (e.g. people offering help during recovery)• Linking social capital (e.g. volunteering help, providing real- time information called ‘crowdsourcing’)
  14. 14. implications• Strengthen community flood networks in addition to volunteering e.g. through policy making, capacity building• Mitigation and recovery plans should help enhance social capital• Community education should not just concentrate on learning for individual preparedness (e.g. emergency plans) but also on learning to build different types of social capital (e.g. ‘help a neighbour’)• Social media should be further developed to help form social capital before, during and after a disaster
  15. 15. a final thoughtLike two individuals exposed to the samedisease, recovery may have more to do with thequality of the host than the nature of thedisease (Aldrich, 2008)
  16. 16. Question And Answer Thank you

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