NCSP Launches Community Resilience Project

September 16, 2014

As part of its critical mission to support preparedness efforts for New York State and the Nation, the NCSP has begun a comprehensive research project to define, examine, and contribute to strengthening community resilience in the State of New York.

The overall objective of the Community Resilience Project (CRP) is to conduct empirical research to inform policy formulation and to aid communities and local governments in developing preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities following the whole community approach promoted by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services.

In the last few years, New York State has experienced significant natural disasters including Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, and Hurricane Sandy. Consequently, communities across the State have increasingly recognized the importance of active participation and collaboration between local and state governments, non-governmental organizations and private partners, and an active citizen base, in order to be better prepared for disasters. To aid in these efforts, governmental and academic institutions should provide tools and information required to take action to improve community resilience and preparedness capabilities.

Recognizing the threat of both natural and man-made disasters, the CRP's research efforts are underlined by a holistic view of emergency preparedness and community participation, guiding research in four main areas: determinants of community resilience, emergency preparedness policy analysis, local government engagement in community resilience, and intergovernmental collaboration.

Currently in its early stages, the CRP focuses on understanding resilience efforts at the local level. By observing environmental, economic, and social conditions it is evident that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to resiliency. By promoting an open dialogue with key community stakeholders, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions, the NCSP aims to reformulate the discussion on the elements, actions, and capabilities necessary to have a resilient community.

The CRP includes quantitative and qualitative research methods designed to elicit processes underlying the development of local resilience and metrics to assess that resilience based on a whole community approach. Specifically, the NCSP's Policy, Intelligence, Exercises & Simulations section has been developing a working definition that better reflects the role of resilience in community preparedness. Additionally, it has been conducting a systematic academic literature review on community resilience evaluation by observing definitions, identified dimensions, and available data sources.

To bridge the gap between academia and practice on Community Resilience, NCSP will hold a series of integrated events, including a workshop and a symposium, in 2014/2015.