Susan Davie

Susan Davie

End-user
About
Susan Davie

Susan Dave is the Senior Advisor – Australian Emergencies with Save the Children Australia. Susan began her career as a Registered Nurse and moved into emergency management working for the Victorian Government. Her current role concentrates on improving emergency management planning for the needs of children in Australia. She focuses on policy and advocacy for the inclusion of the unique needs of children in all emergency management plans along with operational response when Save the Children respond to children’s needs in disasters. She is currently a PhD candidate at Monash University.

Lead end user

Children represent the most vulnerable demographic group in disasters – across the globe it is estimated that 30-50% of fatalities are children - while they are also most vulnerable to psychosocial impacts. Early research indicates that children are a resource for reducing current disaster risks and can also mitigate future risks.

The role of children’s disaster education in managing risk has been recognised as a major priority in the federal government’s National Strategy for Disaster Resilience. Yet, despite a recent surge in child-centred disaster research, the social, psychological, economic and political mechanisms that enable children to both understand and take action to reduce disaster risk remain largely unexplored and the evidence-base for best-practice remains limited.

This project is conducting a nationwide evaluation of programs and strategies based on a child-centred disaster risk reduction framework. It will develop cost-effective programs that reduce the risk and increase resilience for children, schools, households and communities.

The increasing frequency and complexity of natural hazards poses a challenge for community resilience. Communication and education of risk mitigation strategies play an essential role in building and maintaining resilience through preparation and planning by residents.

This project, now in its utilisation phase, has combined expertise in communication, social and consumer psychology, and disaster and emergency management. It identified barriers and enablers in residents’ decision making, preparing, and planning by examining residents’ intended use of different types of triggers for action during hazards. This included when to start evacuating and what information source to use, with the aim of trying to understand why some residents form a better-quality household plan with safer intended triggers than other residents.

This project, which began in July 2017, will address two complementary areas of research relating to the long term recovery of communities after a disaster.

Firstly, the project will investigate how a person’s history of moving house or town influences the likelihood of their willingness to dissolve social ties.

The second area will be an examination of the enablers and barriers to successful recovery using a framework of community capital and the tracking of capital flows. This will look at natural, cultural, human, social, political, built and financial capital resources, their interconnectedness and interactions in disaster recovery. Examination of these assets through case studies and working with end-users will identify both potential areas for improvements, as well as recognise what has worked well in recovering communities. This process will provide feedback and a guide for the planning of recovery activities in a range of communities.

Research team:
This study commenced in July 2017 and will develop an understanding of the motivations, beliefs, decision making processes and information needs of at-risk groups for flood fatalities. It will cover both age and gender, including an understanding of what a Plan B would look like, how to motivate proactive decision making ahead of the journey, what the current challenges and barriers are to this and what further support and information is needed. The opportunity to undertake a PhD in this project is currently open, with details available at http://www.bnhcrc.com.au/research/resilience-hazards/4097
Disaster resilience education: a practice framework for Australian emergency management agencies
29 Jun 2017
Disaster resilience education for children and young people has been identified as a key mechanism...
Children and Youth in Disasters: A Co-Produced Program of Research
18 Aug 2015
Children represent the most vulnerable demographic group in disasters.  The world health...
An Evidence-Based Practice Framework for Children's Disaster Education
18 Aug 2015
Disaster education for children has been identified as a key stragety for increasing disaster...
The role of children in disasters: A program of research
25 Aug 2014
Children represent the most vulnerable demographic group in disasters.  

Resources credited

Type Released Title Download Key Topics
HazardNoteEdition 21 Oct 2015 Turning warnings into action PDF icon Save (236.32 KB) communication, tsunami, warnings

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