A bottom-up approach to developing a neighbourhood-based resilience measurement framework

Alan H. Kwok, Douglas Paton, Julia Becker, Emma E. Hudson-Doyle, David Johnston

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: As disaster resilience activities are increasingly occurring at the neighbourhood level, there is a growing recognition in research and in practice of the contributions that community stakeholders can make in assessing the resilience of their communities. The purpose of this paper is to describe the process in deriving a disaster resilience measurement framework by soliciting the perspectives of stakeholders from urban neighbourhoods in two countries. The authors examined their community values, and their perspectives on both the concept of resilience and the essential elements that they believe would contribute to the resiliency of their neighbourhoods. 

    Design/methodology/approach: The authors used an appreciative inquiry approach to draw out the perspectives of 58 stakeholders from nine focus groups in five urban neighbourhoods in New Zealand and in the USA. 

    Findings: Results of this research show common values and recurring perceived characteristics of disaster resilience across the study sites. A neighbourhood-based disaster resilience measurement framework is developed that encompasses individual/psychological, socio-cultural, economic, infrastructural/built, and institutional/governance dimensions of disaster resilience. In the process of developing the framework, the authors identified challenges in engaging certain segments of the population and in accounting for wider structural influences on neighbourhood resilience. 

    Research limitations/implications: Issues relating to inclusive community engagement and linkages to cross-scalar resilience factors need to be addressed in future studies. 

    Practical implications: Results of this research provide insights and guidance for policy makers and practitioners when engaging communities in the development of resilience metrics. 

    Originality/value: This study fills the literature gap in evaluating community values and stakeholders’ perspectives on disaster resilience when identifying metrics for resilience interventions in urban neighbourhoods. The proposed measurement framework is derived from cross-cultural and diverse socioeconomic settings.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)255-270
    Number of pages16
    JournalDisaster Prevention and Management: an international journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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