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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs;
Outlines the challenges of and recommendations for creating an effective interface between humanitarian groups and volunteer and technical communities aggregating, visualizing, and analyzing data on and from affected communities to support relief efforts.
Examines the potential impact of climate change, including more disasters, economic stress, and social pressures, with respect to civilian and military response efforts. Calls for a coherent government approach and a strategic emphasis on long-term effect
In the immediate aftermath of the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti, the Foundation Center surveyed members of its Grantmaker Leadership Panel to gauge the reaction of top U.S. funders to the unfolding crisis. Findings suggest that a number of leading funders are considering a direct response to the crisis, with a primary focus on providing emergency assistance.
Administrative Science Quarterly;
This article focuses on geographic communities as fields in which human-made and natural events occasionally disrupt the lives of organizations. We develop an institutional perspective to unpack how and why major events within communities affect organizations in the context of corporate philanthropy. To test this framework, we examine how different types of mega-events (the Olympics, the Super Bowl, political conventions) and natural disasters (such as floods and hurricanes) affected the philanthropic spending of locally headquartered Fortune 1000 firms between 1980 and 2006. Results show that philanthropic spending fluctuated dramatically as mega-events generally led to a punctuated increase in otherwise relatively stable patterns of giving by local corporations. The impact of natural disasters depended on the severity of damage: while major disasters had a negative effect, smaller-scale disasters had a positive impact. Firms' philanthropic history and communities' intercorporate network cohesion moderated some of these effects. This study extends the institutional and community literatures by illuminating the geographic distribution of punctuating events as a central mechanism for community influences on organizations, shedding new light on the temporal dynamics of both endogenous and exogenous punctuating events and providing a more nuanced understanding of corporate-community relations.
Center for Strategic and International Studies;
In recent years, the United States has faced a growing number of severe natural disasters presenting a variety of challenges for the nation -- spanning the spectrum from federal to state to municipal and community levels -- and its disaster response, relief, and recovery architecture. On average, the United States experiences ten severe weather events per year exceeding one billion dollars in damage, compared to an annual average of only two such events throughout the 1980s.
In addition, the costs of response, relief, and recovery efforts associated with these kinds of natural disasters have increased considerably over time. Recent reports indicate that from 2010 to today, the U.S. federal government has spent an average of approximately $85 billion per year in response to severe weather events. This figure is more than double average yearly spending on such events in 2000-2009.
While there is significant debate about the reason for this increase, some experts have noted that an overall increase in the number of disasters, an increase in their severity, and an increase in the amount of vulnerable infrastructure may be factors.
Given the growing cost of disaster response efforts, the United States should consider steps that would enhance the nation's disaster preparedness and resilience. By emphasizing planning, partnerships, and capabilities development that improve preparedness and resilience, the United States may be able to mitigate some ofthe effects and costs of natural disasters.
Meaningful progress will require reform at several levels, including but not limited to changes to federal executive branch policy, additional action by the U.S. Congress, and closer partnerships and cooperation between the public and private sectors.
The recommendations are the product of a dialogue hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program and the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, who are partners -- with support from Walmart -- in the CSISPennington Family Foundation Series on Community Resilience. Launched in September 2012,
This series has proven to be a valuable forum for government officials, subject matter experts, academics, philanthropists, nongovernmental organizations, and business and community leaders to discuss strengthening the resilience of communities in disaster-prone areas. Each of these groups offers a unique perspective -- whether from a philanthropic, business, or policy point of view -- and unique capabilities. Reflecting thoughts, findings, and viewpoints gleaned from CSIS-Pennington Family Foundation Series events and discussions, these recommendations provide guidance for those officials who want to make meaningful forward progress to bolster U.S. planning, partnerships, and capabilities to address the real, localized, and oftentimes devastating effects of natural disasters.
Save the Children;
In response to concerted advocacy by Save the Children and many child advocacy groups, President George W. Bush and Congress created the National Commission on Children and Disasters to assess the gaps in federal planning that put children at risk, and to formulate recommendations that could guide a national movement to close those gaps and help states better protect our children. The commission's comprehensive assessment found that "children were more often an afterthought than a priority" across 11 functional areas of U.S. disaster planning. In 2010, the commission issued its final report, with 81 recommendations and sub-recommendations aimed at ensuring children's unique needs are accounted for in U.S. disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
Now, 10 years after Hurricane Katrina, Save the Children has commissioned research to determine progress made on these recommendations. While the federal government has made progress in addressing the commission's recommendations, our research indicates that nearly four in five of the recommendations have not been fully met.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
Between 1914 and the 1950s, U.S. food nourished many European civilians during war and its aftermath. Upon the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, millions of Americans in a neutral nation mobilized to relieve the suffering of civilians in Europe through substantial contributions of money, food, and clothing, thus beginning a long relationship between Americans and Europeans. Non-profit organizations and U.S. government loans fed much of the population of Belgium and Northern France in 1914, using tens of thousands of volunteers and hundreds of millions of dollars under the Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB), until the U.S. entry into the war in 1917.
Rebuild by Design (RBD) was formally launched on June 20, 2013, to ensure that the rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy incorporated designs that built in resilience. RBD was launched with strong public leadership, philanthropic support and professional interest within the design community. The early enthusiasm for RBD came as much from curiosity about RBD's vision and ambition as from the substantial size of the implementation awards from the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds that Congress appropriated to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Hurricane Sandy Recovery. Phase I of RBD held true to the vision of iteratively responding to science-based evidence and to local citizens and community groups through open-ended design techniques. These activities unfolded in various ways and to different ends throughout Phase I's three stages – Stage 1: team selection, Stage 2: research, and Stage 3: community engagement. RBD managers also kept an eye on the feasibility of design proposals from technical, financial and political perspectives – parameters that have all been heavily shaped by RBD's post-Sandy New York context. As part of its ongoing commitment to learn from the work it supports, the Rockefeller Foundation provided funding for the Urban Institute to evaluate the design competition component of Phase 1 of RBD, including its innovative aspects, partnerships and community engagement. The highly positive findings of the evaluation indicate that even though RBD itself is limited in scope to the Sandy recovery area, it has the potential to be transformational in the way disaster recovery efforts are designed, funded and implemented at a broader scale in the US. With the caveat that the evaluation looked only at the design competition phase, RBD brings hope and inspiration that collectively communities and decision makers can 'build back better' by responding in innovative and creative ways and working as a region to become more resilient. In sum, RBD has moved the mark on resilience action in the U.S.
Environmental and Energy Study Institute;
Climate change threatens to force population displacement on a scale never seen before. Unfortunately, many governments, international organizations, and institutions are currently ill-prepared and unequipped to respond to this challenge. To buffer the United States from these potentially seismic shifts, it is advisable that the plight of environmental migrants receive serious consideration and advanced planning.
Oxfam Hong Kong;
On 12 May 2008, the worst earthquake to hit China in 50 years destroyed lives and livelihoods in western China. Centered on Wenchuan in Sichuan Province, it also seriously affected people in the neighboring provinces of Gansu and Shaanxi.
Oxfam Hong Kong responded with relief work in the first few months following the disaster, bringing relief supplies to 125 impoverished communities and getting children back into safe, temporary schools. As of 31 March 2009, we have worked alongside 20 organizations in 3 provinces, supporting about 700,000 people as they rebuild their communities; allocation for these 37 relief and reconstruction projects total over HK$33 million (USD$ 4.3 million).
One year on from that terrible morning, the relief phase is over. Continued support is needed for some years to come, as millions of people have not yet returned to a 'normal' life, with permanent accommodation, an income, and a sense that they can plan for their future.
This report provides an overview of this first year of work and our achievements to date. It is part of Oxfam's commitment to transparency and accountability both for our beneficiaries, as well as for our donors and the public.
Hurricane Katrina claimed over 1,500 lives, injured thousands more, and severely disrupted health-care delivery in the Gulf Coast region.1 Many health-care providers worked heroically, often in extremely difficult conditions, both during and in the aftermath of the disaster to help Katrina's victims, but their efforts were hampered by a weakened government emergency health-care response system. Disproportionately, those in need of help were poor and people of color, groups that suffered from higher rates of illness and inadequate health care well before Katrina struck. In order to be prepared for the next national emergency-and to ensure that all who live in the United States can enjoy the basic health security necessary for opportunity-government must address the structural inequality that Katrina exposed. An important element of this effort will be to revamp a broken health-care system that exposes millions of Americans to the risk of poor health and financial ruin because they lack health insurance, and that too often treats patients inequitably on the basis of gender, race, and social class. This fact sheet examines the state of health care in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region prior to and after Hurricane Katrina. It also summarizes some of the environmental health risks in the region, which are some of the most significant in the nation. Finally, we provide recommendations for ways in which the country can ensure that all who live in America can enjoy a level of health security necessary to have a chance to succeed.
Hurricane Katrina revealed that our government was ill-prepared to assist the most vulnerable people at a time of dire need, and that unequal opportunity remains a major problem in America. Tragically, the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast region is perpetuating, rather than addressing, these problems. This series of fact sheets explores the state of opportunity in the Gulf Coast region one year after the storm, as well as the ways in which barriers to opportunity in the region reflect nationwide challenges that require a national response. This fact sheet focuses on opportunity barriers related to employment, wages, and contracting, and highlights workplace policies that can expand opportunity for all.
Americans believe strongly in mobility through hard work, that employment opportunities should be open to all, and that jobs should provide a living wage in a safe, decent environment. Unfortunately, however, research and reporting show that the Gulf Coast rebuilding process is failing to live up to those values, in ways that are perpetuating the unequal opportunity that existed before the storm. Major opportunity gaps exist in employment, wages, and contracting one year after the disaster. In each case, our nation's leaders have both an opportunity and a responsibility to establish systems that will expand opportunity for all.