Rethinking disasters: finding efficiencies through collaboration
Phillips, Samantha C.
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Disasters are highly inopportune and represent a convergence of complexities, including multiple layers of government, private and non-profit organizations, and diverse populations. The complexity and unpredictability of disasters has been countered with structured management strategies. While an ordered environment has merit, perhaps the management of disasters is over-engineered that results in missed opportunities to capitalize on collaborative, decentralized solutions. This thesis evaluates the processes and procedures for responding to disasters by examining the current tiered response model (local, state, federal) and exploring whether a nonlinear, adaptive approach could improve interagency collaboration and result in better resource utilization. This research creates a framework for dialogue about the deeper appreciation of the complexities and hardships of disaster response. The management of disasters has been routinely criticized. Using a formative program evaluation method, primary and secondary data analysis focuses on understanding the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, the effectiveness of resource deployment, and intergovernmental collaboration during disaster response. This thesis concludes with several recommendations ranked based on multiple factors including political acceptability, economic plausibility, public perception, effectiveness, and appropriate utilization of resources.
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