Creating organisational resilience, Part II

March 5, 2009

UPDATE – There is a second paper of interest which supports the findings of our previous past (permalink), from same journal issue.  The paper, entitled, “Enhancing Organizational Resilience Through Emergency Planning: Learnings from Cross-Sectoral Lessons” (full text PDF), compares “lessons learned” from post-disaster learning exercises for a series of major disasters in the UK and has interesting implications for Somers’ work above.

 The authors found that common themes among post-disaster feedback exercises were:

  1. the importance of process in emergency preparedness
  2. persistent underestimation of possibility and severity of accidents occurring again
  3. the value of creating a “safety culture” through-out the organisation
  4. ambiguity in the role, purpose, and efficacy of command and control structures
  5. the need to communicate better with the media and public
  6. the importance and general lack of attentiont for attending to the “long term welfare” of crisis responders and victims, and
  7. a general need for training disaster responders in non-technical skills (such as situation awareness, better communication, etc.)

Of these, we find the first two the most interesting and important, vis-a-vis the work of the Humanitarian Futures Programme.  The need to communicate and interact better with non-traditional actors, including the media, general public, and academia is also particularly important.