The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index

Australia's recently adopted National Strategy for Disaster Resilience recognizes four characteristics of disaster resilient communities: 1) they function well while under stress 2) they adapt successfully 3) they are self-reliant and 4) they have strong social capacity.

While we can identify what a resilient community should look like, there are many questions. How do we accurately measure the current level of resilience of Australian communities? What are the indicators that represent desirable and undesirable aspects of community resilience and how are these indicators related?  Once known, how should investments to develop disaster resilience be prioritised, evaluated and reported?

The Australian Natural Disaster Resilience Index attempts to answer these questions by retrospectively recreating indicators before past events to identify the traits of the community and the features of its environment that affect resilience and determine what such indicators would have predicted. Coupled with extensive discussion with local authorities and emergency service professionals this method will provide for the development of a proven and tested index that represents the state of resilience for Australian communities. Once the current state is known methods and actions to improve community resilience can be planned and prioritised. It is expected that much of the underlying research and relationship between indicators will be of significance to communities throughout the world.

Research Team: Dr Phil Morley, Dr Melissa Parsons, Assoc. Prof. Neil Argent, Dr Sonya Glavac, Assoc. Prof. Graham Marshall, Mr James Macgregor, Dr Judith McNeill, Dr Ian Reeve, Dr Richard Stayner, Prof. Martin Thoms.

End User Team: Suellen Flint (Lead End User - DFES WA), Sandra Barber (Fire Tas), Gwynne Brennan (Vic CFA), Trent Curtin (Vic MFB), Karen Enbom (Vic CFA), Sunara Fernando (NSW RFS), Paul Fletcher (SA MFB), Colleen Ridge (SES Tas) Raelene Thompson (AEMI).

Due for completion in 2018.

Funded by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC

Contact: Phil Morley or Melissa Parsons