Resilient communities: implications for professionals

Hanneke Duijnhoven, Martijn Neef, Scott Davis, Cecilie Dinesen, José Kerstholt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic


As a result of societal changes like citizen empowerment and increasing attention for strengthening community resilience, relationships between citizens and professional responders in crisis management are changing. Citizens actively deal with crises themselves, implying adjustments to professional procedures. To provide professionals with support to understand the actual resilience of a community we developed a dashboard that provides insight into both the vulnerability of a selected community (for example elderly) and capacities. Capacities were based on indicators of resilience adapted from the multi-level Community Engagement Theory of Douglas Paton. We discussed this dashboard with professionals in interviews and focus groups. The results showed that professionals mostly wanted to know the location of less self-reliant inhabitants (vulnerability) and key persons and characteristics of social networks (capacities). Professionals were most sceptical with regard to the reliability of the data. Ideally, it should be based on existing data bases, but at the same time, not all relevant information is registered and this information is quite general. Our study confirms that having access to information about the level of resilience of communities seems to have a great potential in supporting professional responders in crisis management. Yet knowledge about communities’ levels of resilience or sharing information is not enough and comes with limitations. What is more important is that structural collaboration between citizen communities and professionals is facilitated. This collaboration should already start in the preparation phase and continues throughout all phases in crisis management.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication6th International Conference on Building Resilience: Building Resilience to Address the Unexpected
Subtitle of host publication7th-9th September, 2016, University of Auckland
EditorsNiluka Domingo, Suzanne Wilkinson
Place of PublicationAuckland, New Zealand
PublisherUniversity of Auckland
ISBN (Print)978-0-473-37268-2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2016
Event6th International Conference on Building Resilience 2016: Building Resilience to Address the Unexpected - Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 7 Sep 20169 Sep 2016
Conference number: 6


Conference6th International Conference on Building Resilience 2016
CountryNew Zealand

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