Research Study Rebuilding Lives Post-Disaster coming to Barriere from TRU

research partnership is underway looking at how to address disaster mitigation strategies at local community level

Barriere, BC – A research partnership is underway that is looking at how to address disaster mitigation strategies at the local community level. “Through this project we plan to address long-term reconstruction challenges by conducting research among affected communities engaged in post-disaster recovery,” says project founder Julie Drolet, who is Adjunct at Thompson Rivers University.

Awarded $199,938 over three years by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Rebuilding Lives Post-Disaster Partnership has brought together researchers, government departments, and community partners from six countries to advance knowledge in long-term community-based disaster mitigation strategies in small cities and rural communities in Canada, USA, Australia, India, Pakistan, and Taiwan affected by natural disasters.

“The challenges we all face due to disasters are enormous, and there is a lot to learn about building community capacity, empowering individuals, creating long-term economic and social change, and challenging existing systems of exclusion and discrimination,” says Drolet.

The network of researchers, policymakers and practitioners involved will engage in analyses of community-based disaster mitigation strategies by compiling case studies on emergent promising and effective practices, policies and lessons learned.

The 2003 Wildfires in the North Thompson Valley is one such example of understanding the recovery practices and experiences of the affected communities 10 years on. The partnership’s focus also includes developing recommendations to promote greater community resiliency.

The partnership has obtained solid commitments of support from the Canadian Association for Social Work Education, Council of Social Work Education, International Association of Schools of Social Work, Canadian Red Cross, Emergency Management BC, and partnering non-government organizations.

As part of this effort, the network is contributing to the development of research expertise by providing training opportunities, education and career development opportunities for students, academics, and practitioners.

“The project is significant because it provides a range of community perspectives on sustainability, equity and livelihoods post-disaster of interest to stakeholders such as emergency service volunteers, emergency managers, educators, social workers, community practitioners, and the social sciences, particularly in the relationship between the social construction of disasters, climate change adaptation and mitigation, the environment, and sustainable development,” says Drolet.

For more information, please contact:   Julie Drolet, Thompson Rivers University, 250-574-5258 or jdrolet@tru.ca