Visions of Sharing Responsibility for Disaster Resilience': Outcomes of A Multi-Stakeholder Workshop

Presentation at Research Forum of the 2012 Bushfire CRC and AFAC Annual Conference.

The idea of ‘shared responsibility' is shaping emergency management thinking in Australia. It has gained significant policy traction following the Victorian 2009 Bushfires Royal Commission and the release of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience. Similar ideas have been circulating in other sectors for some time. Yet it is not clear what the idea really means or what its implications are for policy and practice in this area. This paper will report on the outcomes of a multi-stakeholder workshop that explored ‘visions of sharing responsibility for disaster resilience'. Scheduled for March this year, the workshop is hosted by RMIT's Centre for Risk and Community Safety on behalf of NCCARF's emergency management network and the Bushfire CRC. It will bring together a wide range of perspectives from across local, state and federal governments, research, communities, and non-government organisations. Participants will consider two key questions regarding shared responsibility. First, the idea: what does the idea of ‘shared responsibility' mean, and what are its implications? Second, the practice: is it a useful policy concept, what needs to be done to implement it, and what could undermine it? One of the most significant challenges for building disaster resilience in Australia will be developing and strengthening relationships that transcend conventional boundaries such as those between agencies and communities, public and private sectors, government departments and levels, and professional and volunteer capacity. The outcomes of this workshop will illustrate some of the key challenges as well as opportunities for doing this. Importantly, they will be presented from a wide range of perspectives that cut across these same boundaries.

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