Integrating research and practice: A holistic, multi-site and process-oriented action research designed to build community disaster capacity

Petra Buergelt, D Morrison, C Lawrence, Patrick Dunlop, P Clark

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review


This presentation introduces a novel research design: an holistic, multi-site and processoriented action research designed to empower individuals and communities to build up their capacity for coping with natural disasters. This approach will seek both generic and specific solutions, applicable to hazards more broadly as well as the identification of solutions that appear to be hazard specific. In so doing the research design takes a multi-level perspective and investigates the influence of individuals within communities, and their reciprocal interactions. Based on a synergy of four theoretical frameworks paradigms (i.e., salutogenic paradigm, symbolic interactionism, narrative theory, systems theory), the research will merge three qualitative methodologies (i.e., grounded theory, multi-side ethnography, multi-side action research) to inform both theory and measurement of relevant constructs.

In the first phase of the research, we will collect data with a combination of participant observation, episodic interviews, and surveys. The aim is to identify and describe similarities and differences between communities with respect to, for example, the influence networks, emergent community leadership characteristics and community proactivity. In the second phase, we will model differences between communities to identify statistically reliable effects with a view to develop effective and efficient interventions which will promote community proactivity, capacity and resilience. In the third phase, we will collaboratively with the communities identify, design and implement interventions based on the research findings. The outcomes of these interventions will be assessed and reflected onin phase four of the project. Throughout the project, the data from the case studies will be compared to identify the characteristics and processes that contribute to enhancing the resilience of individuals and communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMajor Events, Major Impacts
Place of PublicationAustralia
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event5th Australasian Hazards Management Conference - Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 18 Jul 201121 Jul 2011


Conference5th Australasian Hazards Management Conference


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