Published works

Published works

Out of uniform (building community resilience through non-traditional emergency volunteering): what have we learnt?

TitleOut of uniform (building community resilience through non-traditional emergency volunteering): what have we learnt?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMcLennan, BJ, Whittaker, J, Kruger, T, Handmer, J
Conference NameAFAC17
Date Published09/2017
PublisherBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Conference LocationSydney

How can the emergency management sector build capability and enable community resilience by supporting forms of volunteering that fall outside the scope of their current volunteer and community engagement models? That – in a nutshell - is the question that the Out of Uniform (building community resilience through non-traditional emergency volunteering) research project was set up to answer. The project concluded in June this year, and this presentation reports on key themes that emerged across four cases studies of ‘out-of-scope’ volunteering in action, all of which reinforce in various ways the role and importance of coproduction.

The cases studied were diverse in context and characteristics. Despite their wide variation, however, quite a number of shared themes were found across them that included: the value of coproduction, the impact of job mobility amongst public officials, the shapes and styles of volunteer leadership, the rising importance of brokering actors, groups, networks and platforms; and the challenge of sustainability.

Taken together, these findings reveal some surprising areas where emergency management organisations can make changes to the way they engage with communities and volunteers (both affiliated and not) that can reap potentially significant capacity-building and community resilience benefits. Many of the changes are likely to concern changes to internal organisational processes, structures, and training to build capacity for establishing, maintaining and resourcing co-productive relationships with actors, groups and organisations that have not been traditionally involved in emergency management in the past.Context

The highly demanding nature of managing emergencies can disrupt effective team performance. These disruptions can lead to an impaired operational response, creating risks to public safety, property and other assets. This project is helping to foster cohesive teamwork when it is most needed – when teams are responding under pressure to emergency events. 

Refereed DesignationNon-Refereed

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