Volume 19, Number 2

Contents page - Volume 19, Number 2

Published November 2015
Volume 19, Number 2 (complete issue)

Contents page - Volume 19, Number 2

Practice Update

Knowledge transfer between communities, practitioners, and researchers: A case study for community resilience in Wellington, New Zealand

Emma E. H. Doyle, Julia S. Becker, Daniel P. Neely, David M. Johnston, Bruce Pepperell

Keywords: community resilience, knowledge transfer, facilitation, research, practice, communities, disasters

In 2014 the Integrated Research for Disaster Risk programme endorsed the establishment of the International Centre of Excellence in Community Resilience, Wellington, NZ. This Centre of Excellence is co-hosted by the Joint Centre for Disaster Research (Massey University/GNS Science) and the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office, with the objective of enhancing collaboration between researchers and individuals, organisations, and communities in the Wellington Region. Through a range of activities the International Centre of Excellence in Community Resilience aims to provide an evidence base for the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office’s Community Resilience Strategy, act as a vehicle to share good practice in Community Resilience, and promote the Wellington Region as a living laboratory for research and learning. The current article reports on the recent International Centre of Excellence in Community Resilience trans-disciplinary workshop on knowledge sharing which aimed to investigate challenges to, and solutions for, enhanced collaboration. Over 50 participants attended this workshop, including practitioners, researchers, community leaders, and business representatives. Participants identified a number of key issues that create challenges to collaborative knowledge sharing, ranging from adequate communication and resources through to political influence and partner equity. Solutions ranged from creative resourcing to personalisation of issues. Facilitation and the question of who should be the appropriate facilitator (internal or external) was identified as vital for knowledge transfer and community resilience building.

Research Papers

Did dog ownership influence perceptions of adult health and wellbeing during and following the Canterbury earthquakes? A qualitative study

Samuel Coombs, Annabel Eberlein, Kago Mantata, Ashleigh Turnhout & Catherine M Smith

Keywords: Canterbury Earthquake, Dog Ownership, Health, Wellbeing

The Canterbury earthquakes impacted upon the health and wellbeing of Christchurch residents. Although companion dogs can positively affect human health, there is little research exploring how dog ownership influences human health and wellbeing during and following natural disasters. We asked whether dog ownership influenced perceptions of health and wellbeing in humans during and following the Canterbury earthquakes. A general inductive approach guided analysis of our qualitative data. Seven adult women who owned dogs during and following the Canterbury earthquakes participated in semi-structured interviews that were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. We identified three themes: ‘Companionship’ demonstrated how a close bond was experienced between all participants and their companion dogs. ‘Support’ highlights how the difference in nature of a close bond influenced the mental, physical and social support gained from a dog-owner relationship. ‘Changing priorities’ showed how the themes of ‘companionship’ and ‘support’ were interwoven in the way participants re-prioritized important aspects of their lives. Dog ownership influenced perceptions of health and wellbeing of our participants during the Christchurch earthquakes. We recommend that health practitioners continue to develop their understanding of companion animals as a potential source of psychological support outside the health system. We also recommend that, where possible, emergency management practitioners and policy makers help ensure that humans and their canine companions stay together following natural disasters.

Quiet heroes: Teachers and the Canterbury, New Zealand, earthquakes

Carol Mutch

Keywords: disaster studies, schools, teachers, first responders, psychosocial support

This article argues that teachers deserve more recognition for their roles as first responders in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and for the significant role they play in supporting students and their families through post-disaster recovery. The data are drawn from a larger study, 'Christchurch Schools Tell Their Earthquake Stories' funded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the University of Auckland, in which schools were invited to record their earthquake stories for themselves and for historical archives. Data were gathered from five primary schools between 2012 and 2014. Methods concerned mainly semi-structured individual or group interviews and which were analysed thematically. The approach was sensitive, flexible and participatory with each school being able to choose its focus, participants and outcome. Participants from each school generally included the principal and a selection of teachers, students and parents. In this study, the data relating to the roles of teachers were separated out for closer analysis. The findings are presented as four themes: immediate response; returning to (new) normal; care and support; and long term effects.


All papers are protected under the Creative Commons attribution as per our copyright notice.

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