Tuesday 6
Knowledge for disaster resilience: Exploring memory, governance and resilience in practice
Erin Bohensky, Anne Leitch
› 15:45 - 16:40 (55min)
› Rondelet
Framing resilience : practitioners view of its meaning and usefulness in disaster risk management practice
Paulina Aldunce  1, 2, 3, *@  , John Handmer, Ruth Beilin, Mark Howden@
1 : Department of Resoure Management and Geography, The University of Melbourne
2 : Department of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resources, University of Chile
3 : Centre for Climate and Resilience Research (CR)2
* : Corresponding author

There is an imperative to search for approaches that can further develop Disaster Risk Management (DRM). The resilience perspective emerges as a plausible approach, and although it is not a new concept for DRM practitioners and researchers, it is only in the last decade has it been strongly introduced into the policy arena. However, there is no single, agreed definition of disaster resilience with the idea being highly contested, with few empirical studies available to inform theory or show its application in practice. This research investigates the construction of the disaster resilience discourse to a disaster management initiative in Australia; the Natural Disaster Resilience Program (NDRP), in Queensland. Using Hajer's ‘Social-interactive discourse theory' together with practitioners' in-depth interviews, a document analysis of program and government artefacts, and observation of different activities at various sites, the discourse was analysed and implications for policy and practice within DRM were revealed.

 

The research findings show that practitioners understand and construct the meaning of disaster resilience differently, which is embedded in their diverse storylines, and importantly the divergences among these storylines reveal possibilities for social learning and reframing to occur. Three distinct ways of understanding resilience's contribution to DRM emerge: mechanistic/technocratic, community based and sustainability. These different storylines are characterised by seven discourse categories, in which each storyline has a different interpretation and emphasis in relation to these categories. The resilience discourse is considered by the study participants as a shift in paradigm, useful for the development of DRM and helpful for changing and improving practices. The results presented in this thesis offer empirical evidence to extend the knowledge of resilience theory, addressing the most critical gap in the literature, and also providing helpful insights to inform policy design and implementation of resilience ideas in DRM practice.

 

 

 


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