Volume 20, Number 1

Contents - Volume 20, Number 1

Published September 2016
Volume 20, Number 1 (complete issue)

Contents page - Volume 20, Number 1


Research Papers

Asking for help and receiving support after a disaster

Kayleigh A. Urmson, David M. Johnston & Simon Kemp

Keywords: Christchurch; earthquake; help-seeking; comfort; support

After a disaster strikes, many people need support – material, emotional and informational. To what extent does their comfort with asking others for support affect the support they receive? Participants were 191 residents of Christchurch, New Zealand (79 males, 112 females), who had experienced two major (4 September, 2010; 22 February, 2011), and many lesser, earthquakes. Surveys measuring help-seeking comfort, amount of support received, disaster exposure, and socio-economic status were delivered by hand to varying socio-economic areas around the city. The results indicate that the support people received was more influenced by their disaster exposure than by their comfort in asking for support, and that there was a disconnection between the type of help they were comfortable requesting and the type of support that they received. Overall, our respondents most reported receiving emotional support, received from friends and family in particular.

Accredited qualifications for capacity development in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation

Sarah L Hemstock, Leigh-Ann Buliruarua, Emily YY Chan, Gloria Chan, Helene Jacot Des Combes, Peter Davey, Paul Farrell, Sian Griffiths, Henning Hansen, Tim Hatch, Ailsa Holloway, Teuleala Manuella-Morris, Tess Martin, Fabrice G. Renaud, Kevin Ronan, Benjamin Ryan, Joerg Szarzynski, Duncan Shaw, Soichiro Yasukawa, Tiffany Yeung & Virginia Murray

Keywords: capacity development, accreditation, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, training

Increasingly practitioners and policy makers working across the globe are recognising the importance of bringing together disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. From studies across 15 Pacific island nations, a key barrier to improving national resilience to disaster risks and climate change impacts has been identified as a lack of capacity and expertise resulting from the absence of sustainable accredited and quality assured formal training programmes in the disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation sectors. In the 2016 UNISDR Science and Technology Conference on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, it was raised that most of the training material available are not reviewed either through a peer-to-peer mechanism or by the scientific community and are, thus, not following quality assurance standards. In response to these identified barriers, this paper focuses on a call for accredited formal qualifications for capacity development identified in the 2015 United Nations landmark agreements in DRR and CCA and uses the Pacific Islands Region of where this is now being implemented with the launch of the Pacific Regional Federation of Resilience Professionals, for DRR and CCA. A key issue is providing an accreditation and quality assurance mechanism that is shared across boundaries. This paper argues that by using the United Nations landmark agreements of 2015, support for a regionally accredited capacity development that ensures all countries can produce, access and effectively use scientific information for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. The newly launched Pacific Regional Federation of Resilience Professionals who work in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation may offer a model that can be used more widely.

The role of the organisation following disaster: Insights from nurse experiences after the Canterbury earthquakes

Zoe Mounsey, Sarb Johal & Katharina Näswall

Keywords: disaster, recovery, mental health, burnout, organisations, nursing

This research aimed to explore nurse perceptions of impacts and organisational support following the Canterbury NZ earthquake sequence. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 11 nurses in the Canterbury area to explore the challenges faced during and following the 2010/11 earthquake sequence. The interviews took place three years after the start of the earthquake sequence to enable exploration of longer term aspects of the recovery process. The interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. A number of themes were identified that related to organisations, including initial impact, emotional impact, work impact and organisational support. Changes to workloads and roles were both organisationally driven and personally motivated. There is a need to consider the psychosocial impact of working and living in a post disaster context. There is also a need to develop support packages to ensure the health and wellbeing of health care professionals. This research highlights a number of ways in which organisations can support employees following disasters.

Toward a substantive dialogue: The case for an ethical framework in emergency management, Part 1

Shirley Feldmann-Jensen, Steven Jensen, Sandy Smith & David Etkin

Keywords: disaster risk management; emergency management; ethics; values; decision making; emergency; disaster

The changes in and interactions between the social, built, and physical environments are making some hazards more severe, concentrating risk, and widening exposure and vulnerability. The scale, interdependencies, and uncertainty of these transformations foreshadow dramatic influences on humankind, greatly increasing the probabilities of future catastrophes. This dynamic context coupled with diminishing resources will require the EM/DRM professionals and the wider communities they serve to make difficult and uncertain values based decisions.

The existing opportunity is to begin a process of reasoning together, in order to discern the essential components of an ethical framework for 21st century emergency management and its related interdisciplinary communities. The intent of this essay is not to provide answers or solutions, but rather to stimulate a dialogue about the moral basis for EM/DRM decisions in a world that is becoming increasingly complex and risk laden. To kindle the early phases of the discourse, a series of related articles will follow in the coming months.

Toward a substantive dialogue: The case for an ethical framework in emergency management, Part 2

David Etkin, Shirley Feldmann-Jensen, Sandy Smith & Steven Jensen

Keywords: disaster risk management; emergency management; ethics; values; decision making; emergency; disaster

Emergency management/disaster risk management is a profession that focuses on reducing the suffering of people, and it would greatly benefit from the undergirding of a robust ethical foundation. A basis of ethical principles specifically for emergency management/disaster risk management has been insufficiently developed thus far, and a broad dialogue would do much toward enhancing the profession and establishing a moral basis for emergency management/disaster risk management actions. A collective dialogue toward developing an ethical framework is becoming increasingly important given the complex and dynamic vulnerabilities and risk environment societies are facing. Further, the discourse is encouraged to be broad, inclusive, thoughtful, and inclusive of ethicists as well as emergency/disaster managers and the wider communities they serve.

A discourse toward establishing a framework will embrace a variety of ethical theories, acknowledge the plurality of values that exist in current societies, and further define the emergency management/disaster risk management community. The beginnings of a discourse regarding an ethical framework for emergency management/disaster risk management should optimally be grounded in theory. Therefore, a number of relevant ethical theories and values that could be used to support the professional discourse have been reviewed in this paper.


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

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