Building Capacity to Adapt to the Consequences of Disaster: Linking Disaster Recovery and Disaster Risk Reduction

Douglas Paton, L Jang, Melanie Irons

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    In locations that expose citizens to large scale disasters, a key disaster risk reduction (DRR) goal is developing their adaptive capacity. The atypical nature of disasters make it important to understand how people, individually and collectively, adapt when experiencing disaster. This chapter discusses research on disaster recovery in New Zealand (2011 Christchurch earthquake), Taiwan (1999 Chi Chi earthquake) and Australia (2013 Tasmanian wildfire) and the lessons learnt regarding how personal, family, community and societal factors interact to facilitate adaptation to the consequences of disaster. Data from the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and 1999 Chi Chi earthquake were obtained as survivors confronted the demands of disaster recovery. By collecting data from the 2013 Tasmanian wildfire using a Facebook page (Tassie Fires – We Can Help) specifically developed to assess response and recovery, the chapter offers rare in situ, real-time insights into adaptive demands and adaptive responses. These analyses are used to provide insights into adaption, and how models and theories of capacity building can be developed from such experience to inform the planning and design of capacity building programs. By conducting this work in countries that differ extensively in their cultural characteristics (comparing Taiwan and Australia/New Zealand), the chapter affords an opportunity to develop understanding of how cultural similarities and differences inform how capacity is developed, sustained and enacted.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCapacity Building
    Subtitle of host publicationPlanning, Programs and Prospects
    Editors Diane Brown
    Place of PublicationNew York, NY
    PublisherNova Science Publishers
    Number of pages30
    ISBN (Print)978-1-63483-995-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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