Research leader

Prof Lisa Gibbs Research Leader

Research team

Prof David Johnston
Prof David Johnston Research Team
Phoebe Quinn Research Team

End User representatives

Kate Brady End-User
Pauline Cole End-User
Holly Foster
Dr Holly Foster End-User
Gwynne Brennan
Gwynne Brennan End-User
Susan Davie
Susan Davie End-User
Trish Wall End-User
Craig Madden End-User
Anne Leadbeater End-User

Disaster recovery is a complex process, requiring support from a range of people and organisations after an event. For the past decade, the four recovery environments (built, social, economic and natural) have been used to recognise this complexity and frame recovery efforts. However, recovery efforts often remain siloed, with inadequate attention paid to the interconnectedness between environments and the particular nuances across the social environment. There is a need for accessible, engaging and evidence-based resources to provide guidance for how to apply key recovery principles in practice.

The Recovery Capitals (ReCap) project aimed to promote wellbeing after disasters by examining the disaster recovery evidence base and producing a set of resources to help guide recovery efforts. It was a collaboration between the University of Melbourne, Massey University (Aotearoa New Zealand), Australian Red Cross, and other researchers, government and non-government agencies and organisations from across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

The ReCap project began with an examination of the evidence base for recovery risk and protective factors using a  Community Capitals Framework (Emery, Fey and Flora, 2006). It focused on how seven forms of capital - natural, built, political, cultural, human, social, financial – can influence wellbeing after disasters, and how they can influence each other. Through discussions between researchers and end-users, this was then adapted to develop the Recovery Capitals Framework (RCF). The RCF highlights the interconnectedness between recovery capitals, multiple dimensions regarding people, place and time and values of diversity and equity. 

The ReCap resources serve a range of purposes and are designed to guide disaster recovery efforts across different community contexts. The resources can be used to build capacity rapidly after an event, as well as in pre-event recovery planning to enhance resilience prior to disasters. They can be used in a wide range of disaster contexts, and by the wide range of people engaged in disaster recovery including policy makers, ‘on-the-ground’ staff and volunteers, including those whose core work is unrelated to disasters (e.g., teachers, healthcare workers and community organisations). The ReCap resources have also been tailored to the sociocultural contexts of the two countries, particularly with regard to representing the cultural perspectives and experiences of Indigenous peoples in appropriate ways. 

The resources are available via www.recoverycapitals.org.au

Date Title Download Key Topics
18 Apr 2017 Factors Affecting Long Term Community Recovery PDF icon 261.69 KB (261.69 KB) communities, recovery, resilience
07 Jul 2017 Lightning presentation: factors affecting long-term community recovery PDF icon 415.29 KB (415.29 KB) communities, recovery, resilience
31 Aug 2017 Fire Australia Issue Three 2017 PDF icon 5.22 MB (5.22 MB) child-centred, prescribed burning, severe weather
16 Apr 2018 Barriers and enablers to long term recovery of communities PDF icon 789.17 KB (789.17 KB) communities, emergency management, recovery
24 Sep 2019 Applying a Community Capitals Framework to Disaster Recovery PDF icon 4.6 MB (4.6 MB) communities, recovery
01 Dec 2020 Recovery Capitals communities, recovery, resilience
02 Feb 2021 How to enhance community recovery after disasters PDF icon 1.61 MB (1.61 MB) communities, recovery, resilience
13 Aug 2021 Driving change: the evolution of communications and warnings in emergency preparedness, response and recovery communication, communities, warnings
13 Aug 2021 Prof Lisa Gibbs interview: Understanding and using Recovery Capitals research File 0 bytes (0 bytes) communities, recovery, resilience
13 Aug 2021 Recovery: Understanding and using Recovery Capitals research File 0 bytes (0 bytes) communities, recovery, resilience
13 Aug 2021 The evolution of communications and warnings in emergency preparedness, response and recovery File 0 bytes (0 bytes) communication, communities, warnings
13 Aug 2021 Trailer, Recovery: Understanding and using Recovery Capitals research File 0 bytes (0 bytes) communities, recovery, resilience
Factors affecting long term community recovery
30 Jun 2017
This project will address two complimentary areas of research relating to the long term recovery of...
31 Aug 2020
Key findings: New evidence-based guide to disaster recovery