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Monday, September 16 • 11:30am - 12:00pm
Early insights from evaluating post-disaster community recovery

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Claire Grealy (Urbis), Christina Bagot (Urbis)

This presentation draws upon our experience over the last decade in undertaking evaluations of disaster recovery efforts in Victoria and Queensland. Key themes explored in this presentation consider the need for: evaluation-informed program design, accessible platforms for communities to participate in the evaluation, consultations to be tailored and trauma-informed and, evaluation methods that consider the dynamic ongoing recovery-context.

Evaluating recovery efforts presents unique challenges for evaluators and our work in this area emphasises the importance of careful planning and consideration around the logistics of the consultation (data collection) phase. In particular, communities recovering from disaster face additional barriers to traditional consultation methods and there is a need for evaluators to create accessible platforms for a range of people to provide their input.

Evaluators also need to be aware and equipped to consult with communities and service users who are have experienced acute and recent trauma. Our experience has shown that trauma takes many different forms for individuals and this affects their interaction with services and participation in consultations. Ethical conduct is paramount, using trauma-informed research methods and consultation processes that enable the collection of a range of perspectives but still safe-guard informants from re-traumatisation.

In addition, our evaluations have also found that consultations need to be conscious of prevailing cultures of 'don't speak up' and its impact on data collection activities, particularly in rural communities where stoicism is the norm. Stigma of mental health symptoms and attitudes towards help-seekers can hinder the willingness of community members to acknowledge the range of consequences arising from the disaster.

avatar for Larissa Brisbane

Larissa Brisbane

Team Leader, Strategic Evaluation, Dept of Planning and Environment NSW
It was only a short step from training in environmental science, and a background in cross-disciplinary problem-solving, to evaluation where I still ask 'why' and 'how do you know that'. I love hearing your stories of what you've done and what you've learned, especially in the areas... Read More →

avatar for Claire Grealy

Claire Grealy

Partner, Urbis
Motivated to influence - better experiences, better systems and better places, for everyone. Evaluation + is how I think about it - always with an eye to translating the learning into knowledge and change for the better. Passionate about working with our partners to influence change... Read More →
avatar for Christina Bagot

Christina Bagot

Senior Consultant, Urbis

Monday September 16, 2019 11:30am - 12:00pm AEST