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Journal Article


MacAskill K. Int. J. Disaster Risk Reduct. 2019; 39: e101200.


(Copyright © 2019, Elsevier Publishing)






Engaging communities in the selection of acceptable actions for mitigating and responding to disasters is a core part of the current international agenda (underpinned by the United Nations Sendai Framework) regarding disaster risk reduction. Evidence from around the globe suggests that specific efforts to engage in dialogue with communities regarding disaster risk, particularly in the absence of a major hazard event, has had limited success. This paper expands on observations of earthquake recovery in Christchurch, New Zealand, which has a relatively advanced institutional framework for managing disaster risk. It demonstrates that pre- and post-disaster contexts present different but related challenges for engaging communities, such as limited public awareness/interest and the resourcing and time required for bespoke engagement efforts. It is proposed that disaster risk reduction needs to be higher on the strategic agenda of local governments before a major hazard occurs, where a core purpose of their role should not just be to act on behalf of the local community, but to ensure that understanding risk becomes part of the everyday vernacular of city governance. The findings highlight the significance of problem structuring in consultation: understanding the structure of policy or the engineering design problem with respect to available scientific knowledge and values of the affected communities will help local governments determine the required consultation process. This may be purely technically driven and relying solely on expert decision-making or something necessitating greater community involvement.

Language: en


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