Volume 22, Number 1

Contents - Volume 22, Number 1

Published July 2018
Volume 22, Number 1 (complete issue)

Contents page - Volume 22, Number 1


Research Papers

Where is social work in emergency management? Exploring visibility in New Zealand online media

Kathryn Hay & Katheryn Margaret Pascoe

Keywords: Social work; disaster, emergency management, media, New Zealand

Registered social workers in New Zealand have transferable skills and capabilities that enable them to work with diverse populations at levels including the individual, family and community. Working across government and non-government organisations, they are well-situated to effectively contribute to emergency management. Despite this, their current engagement in emergency management is largely invisible even though, anecdotally, it is known that many social workers have been active in this field. In the main, public understanding of social workers is limited and they are frequently portrayed by the media in negative terms, with an emphasis on critical incidents such as child deaths. This limited reporting of the breadth and depth of the knowledge and skills of social workers may affect credibility, perception and uptake. Consequently, media portrayals may limit other professionals’ engagement with them in the planning and mitigation phases of emergency management, in particular. Further, the public may be reluctant to seek or accept social workers' professional support during and after an emergency. This article presents the results of a content analysis of New Zealand online media depictions of social work and emergencies over the past ten years. The findings illustrate the minimal visibility of social work and emergencies in New Zealand media. Social work representations are largely focused on the profession having a role in addressing ongoing psychosocial needs in the mid- and longer-term recovery phases. Recommendations include increasing positive media profiling of social workers and illuminating the broad scope of their practice. Enhancing current relationships between the social work profession and the emergency management sector will also lead to more positive well-being outcomes for individuals, families, and communities in New Zealand.

Older adults’ strategies for managing adversity through connection and purpose

Nicki Weld

Keywords: Post-disaster, Canterbury Earthquakes, Older adults, adversity, coping, resilience.

Events such as disasters elicit a range of coping strategies and provide the opportunity to identify what does and does not help people in adverse situations. The voice of older adults has been less evident in relevant discussions, with older adults often seen as the recipients of services during and following adverse events rather than as a source of knowledge. The current article was developed from a qualitative study using a grounded theory design that explored the concept of courage with 20 adults aged over 70 years who experienced the Canterbury Earthquake sequence from 2010 and 2011 in New Zealand. It focused on their responses to a specific question on ways to manage adversity. Their responses emphasised themes of social connection, keeping things normal, being brave and calm, having a purpose or role, and positive thinking. This article discusses their ideas in relation to existing literature and highlights the importance of valuing how the wisdom of older adults can contribute to emergency management.

Practice Update

Building a data integration and visualisation platform for resilience research in New Zealand

Joanne R. Stevenson, Elora Kay & John Vargo

Keywords: Resilience, data integration platform, metadata

This article summarises the process and progress toward developing the New Zealand Resilience Data Integration and Visualisation En Masse Platform, otherwise referred to as DIVE. The DIVE Platform is a prototype for online data cataloguing, sharing, and collaboration. It is being developed to enable integrated and engaged research that will enhance New Zealand’s resilience to hazards. The development of this platform is intended to interface with, and supplement, other efforts to integrate data sharing across New Zealand and beyond. Development of a beta prototype for the DIVE Platform has been completed, allowing users to upload relevant metadata into the system through a data entry form. The prototype features the ability to effectively categorise data. It allows for user friendly data searching and the creation of virtual organisations to facilitate collaborative research. Testing of the beta prototype is currently underway, meaning that end users are already interacting with the web-based DIVE prototype. This stage allows them to provide valuable feedback and showcase examples of resilience research emerging within New Zealand. The beta version also enables users to contribute to the ongoing development of the DIVE Platform itself. The current paper concludes with a discussion of challenges surrounding the development of DIVE, alongside plans for the future development of this platform.


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

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