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JDR Vol.5 No.5 pp. 503-508
(2010)
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2010.p0503

Paper:

Building Disaster Resilient Organizations in the Non-Government (NGO) Sector

Richard K. Eisner*,**

*Government Liaison, Fritz Institute, San Francisco, California

**Research Center for Disaster Reduction Systems (DRS), Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University, Gokasho, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan

Received:
August 27, 2010
Accepted:
September 13, 2010
Published:
October 1, 2010
Keywords:
Standards for Disaster Resilience, Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)
Abstract

In 2006 Fritz Institute initiated the development and implemention of a process to create “disaster resilience” in faith and community based organizations that provide services to vulnerable populations in California. The process included undertaking background research on the attributes of disaster resilient organizations; development of intervention strategies to promote organizational resilience, developing a definition of “soft” and “hard” resilience applicable to the non-government sector; and the development and implementation of A Disaster Resilience Standard for Community- and Faith-Based Service Providers. This process necessitated the creation of a constituency for a standard, convening of peer networks to support organizational change, and the formulation of a strategy to sustain application of the standard.

Cite this article as:
Richard K. Eisner, “Building Disaster Resilient Organizations in the Non-Government (NGO) Sector,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.5, No.5, pp. 503-508, 2010.
Data files:
References
  1. [1] Fritz Institute assessment based on estimates of the number of service recipients as a percentage of urban population of the San Francisco Bay Region.
  2. [2] See: Homeland Security Institute, “Heralding Unheard Voices: The Role of Faith-Based and Non-Governmental Organizations during Disasters, Final Report, 18 December 2006,” L. B. Bourque, “Community Response to the October 17, 1989 Bay Area Earthquake,” 1990; and, “Community Response to the January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake,” 1994.
  3. [3] See: International Standards Organization (ISO) 31000, American National Standards Institute (ANSI), US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1600, Emergency Management Accreditation Program Standard (EMAP) for examples of emergency management and continuity of business standards.
  4. [4] Pamela David, CEO,Walter and Elise Haas Fund; and Chair, Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) in a presentation to the NCG Disaster Preparedness Workshop (2008) on the challenges to generalizing about the capabilities of community and faith based organizations.
  5. [5] Exemplified in moderate events such as the Loma Prieta (1989) and Northridge (1994) earthquakes, the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001, and in catastrophic events such as Hurricane Katrina (2005) where CBO service providers were overwhelmed by demand from clients in need.
  6. [6] Based on attributes of successful organizations identified by Jeannette Sutton and Kathleen Tierney, “Disaster Preparedness: Concepts, Guidance and Research,” Natural Hazards Center, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2006, Report to Fritz Institute.
    Standards represent “best practices” and metrics that indicate capacity to perform and serve as targets for improving organization capabilities. Additional benefits of a standard are derived from the shared expectations of performance of members of the CBO sector, and by the communication of capabilities to partners in the government, philanthropic and business sectors; collaboration, common language and protocols; and, the relationships that evolve from collaboration in developing consensus.
    The term “Standard” has some unfortunate connotations. It immediately invokes the notion of a top-down imposition from the “outside” onto an organization. It is often thought of as either mandatory or micromanaging, or both. The standard developed in this process and described herein, has none of these characteristics. It has been developed with intense and wide-reaching involvement of the CBO sector; it has been released with the buy-in of both the CBO sector as well as the government and philanthropic sectors; it is entirely voluntary; and it is based on a flexible, non-prescriptive, performance-based model.
  7. [7] E. Baumgardner and R. Eisner, “DRO Standard Implementation Model White Paper,” 2009, Available from Fritz Institute.
  8. [8] See: Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) based in a standard developed by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA 1600),
    http://www.emaponline.org/ , and
    http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/AboutTheCodes.asp?DocNum=1600&cookie%5Ftest=1
  9. [9] K. Tierney and L. Ritchie, “Serving The Most Vulnerable: Disaster Preparedness Among Community-Based Organizations in the City and County of San Francisco,” Fritz Institute and the Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado, 2008,
    www.fritzinstitute.org
  10. [10] For example, see: “NFPA 1600 – Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs – 2007 Edition,” Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations; Institute for Continuity Management; US Department of Homeland Security Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program (PS-Prep); “Emergency Management Accreditation Program Standard – 2007.”
  11. [11] J. Sutton and K. Tierney, “Disaster Preparedness: Concepts, Guidance and Research,” Natural Hazards Center, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, Report to Fritz Institute, 2006,
    http://www.fritzinstitute.org
  12. [12] Fritz Institute, “Disaster Resilience Standard and Continuity of OperationsWorkshop for Community- and Faith-Based Organizations: Proceedings,” 2009,
    Available from Fritz Institute.
  13. [13] Fritz Institute, “Findings and Recommendations for Implementing the Standard for Community- and Faith-Based Service Providers: Workshop Proceedings,” 2009,
    Available from Fritz Institute.
  14. [14] Fritz Institute, “A Disaster Resilience Standard for Community- and Faith-Based Service Providers, Version 1.0,” 2009,
    Available from Fritz Institute.
  15. [15] E. Baumgardner, Background Paper for the Development and Application of a Disaster Standard for Community- and Faith-Based Organizations, “Disaster Resilience Standard and Continuity of OperationsWorkshop for Community- and Faith-Based Organizations: Proceedings,” 2009,
    Available from Fritz Institute.
  16. [16] These Standard Elements correlate with the eight “Preparedness Dimensions and Activities,” identified by J. Sutton and K. Tierney.
  17. [17] An assessment tool that correlated organizational resilience with structural performance (resilience) was developed for Fritz Institute by David Bonovitz, SE, San Francisco, CA. See: D. Bonovitz, “Earthquakes, Buildings and Disaster Resilience: Issues and Recommendations for Community Based Organizations,” Report to Fritz Institute, BayPrep Program, 2008,
    Available from Fritz Institute.
  18. [18] The concept of a “maturity model” for the CBO sector was adapted by Dale Rose, PhD. of Fritz Institute from the work of Scott Ream, Virtual Corporation, and his Business Continuity Maturity Model. Ream applies it to building and sustaining business continuity capacity in the private sector. It includes a process for baseline assessment of capacity using a standard as a metric, gap analysis that generates a “roadmap” to improvement and resilience.
  19. [19] W. M. Dunaway and G. L. Shaw, “The Influence of Collaborative Partnerships on Private Sector Preparedness and Continuity Planning,” J. of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Vol.7, Iss.1, Article 47, 2010,
    http://www.bepress.com/jhsem/vol7/iss1/47
  20. [20] J. Sutton and K. Tierney, “Disaster Preparedness: Concepts, Guidance and Research,” Natural Hazards Center, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, Report to Fritz Institute; 2006, and, K. Tierney and L. Ritchie, “Serving The Most Vulnerable: Disaster Preparedness Among Community-Based Organizations in the City and County of San Francisco,” Fritz Institute and the Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado, 2008.

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