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Analysing community needs and skills for enhancing disaster resilience in the built environment

Srinath Perera (Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Onaopepo Adeniyi (Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Solomon Olusola Babatunde (Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

ISSN: 1759-5908

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

A better cooperation among all stakeholders working towards enhancing the disaster resilience of societies can only be achieved if the expectations or the needs of each stakeholder are understood. This study attempts to outline the needs of communities affected by disasters for the purpose of aligning the needs and skill requirements with the abilities of built environment professionals serving these communities. Therefore, the study aims to identify and describe community needs and skills requirements for enhancing disaster resilience.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted literature review and semi-structured interviews. The semi-structured interviews were conducted with key members of some communities affected by disasters and with some of the professionals who participated in the restoration/reconstruction of those communities. Data obtained were analysed using NVivo 10.

Findings

The study revealed the current and emerging needs and skills of communities related to the built environment professionals from the viewpoint of enhancing disaster resilience. Thus, 29 classifications of skill and needs were derived and classified under five major disaster resilience dimensions to include social, economic, technological, environmental and institutional aspects.

Research limitations/implications

This study focuses only of the needs and skills of the “community”, which is the major stakeholder that is basically the receiver of all that the other stakeholders of disaster resilience have to offer.

Practical implications

This study would help the built environment professionals involved in disaster resilience to become aware of the specific needs and skills of the communities affected by disasters for the purpose of developing their competences.

Originality/value

The study findings would be useful for both the built environment professionals and higher education institutions. Because it is important for professionals to update and upgrade their knowledge towards enhancing their capabilities and meeting stakeholders’ expectations in a bid to enhance societal resilience to disasters across all domains of resilience.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The research leading to this paper received funding from European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme (Project number: 540151-LLP-1-2013-1-UK-ERASMUS-EQR). Any opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not reflect those of the European Commission. The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions made by academics from partner institutions in the area of general discussions that formed the basis of this paper as well as the data analysis.

Citation

Perera, S., Adeniyi, O. and Babatunde, S.O. (2017), "Analysing community needs and skills for enhancing disaster resilience in the built environment", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 292-305. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDRBE-10-2015-0046

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited