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The ability of a community to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a natural disaster is a critical piece of resilience. Within these frameworks, increasing priority is being placed on community-based approaches to resilience, where the strength of networks and their sustainability plays a major role in the community’s overall resilience.

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The ability of a community to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a natural disaster is a critical piece of resilience. Within these frameworks, increasing priority is being placed on community-based approaches to resilience, where the strength of networks and their sustainability plays a major role in the community’s overall resilience.

Working with the American Red Cross, NORC at the University of Chicago conducted a seventeen-month evaluation of the American Red Cross’ Community Resilience Pilot program’s impact on community resilience. For this project, NORC worked closely with the American Red Cross to develop a set of indicators and survey questions that are used to track community-level resilience as the program’s community-level networks develop and flourish.  Grounded in conceptual frameworks of resilience, metrics are organized into a resilience index that will help the American Red Cross quantify community resilience and track chapter initiatives to increase preparedness and build sustainable, resilient communities.

Many questions remain unanswered as to how to develop and measure a community’s resilience; the availability of databases for assessing community resilience that measure social, economic, or institutional components remains scarce.  This project focused on preparedness, social capital, community capacity, and sustainability. 

This project focuses on:

  • Resilience
         • Preparedness
         • Response
         • Recovery
  • Networks
         • Community Capacity
         • Participation
         • Partnership
  • Sustainability
         • Demonstrated results
         • Social factors

Within the framework of this project, NORC and its partners created a monitoring and evaluation system to evaluate the effectiveness of disaster preparedness and resilience strategy at the community level, held focus groups and stakeholder interviews with community members, and implemented a survey for network members regarding their perceptions of resilience and program impact.

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