Published works

Published works

Emergency management and policy: research impact and utilisation

TitleEmergency management and policy: research impact and utilisation
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsDovers, S
Conference NameAFAC17
Date Published09/2017
PublisherBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Conference LocationSydney

Emergency management is an important and curious sector. Important because of urgency, high stakes and public and political interest; curious because it deals with complex and difficult problems, and it constantly seeks and appreciates improved knowledge. Much discussed over the years has been the need for research to inform policy change (beyond management change), and how such research can be measured in terms of changing the policy settings that define and constrain emergency management. This is a complex matter, and difficult to answer simply.

This paper extends commentary by the author in a keynote address to the CRC/AFAC Research Forum 2012 on the interface of research, policy and politics. Can “policy research” actually change policy and if so how? The paper does not seek to (and nor should it try) answer the question prescriptively, but explores the interface between research, policy, management and politics in four parts:

  1. Clarifying the relationships between management, policy and politics, and the institutional systems that define these, so that the targets of policy change are better understood.
  2. How different disciplines relate to policy: some with competence, directly and thus controversially; others less directly, with no inbuilt understanding of public policy and at a safe distance.
  3. Different forms of ultilisation of information in policy in the context of emergency management (direct, conceptual, political, etc), which are different and need to be understood as such.
  4. Policy hooks and windows – the coincidence of knowledge and events (ie. great ideas wither in calm times; bad ideas take hold in a panic).

A summary checklist is presented, to guide research design and communication and to manage expectations. Clarity in this space is important for research design, and for increasing relevance to policy and management.

Refereed DesignationNon-Refereed
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