The overarching conceptual frame that guides this report is derived from research in several disaster-related disciplines and from guidance the committee received at its workshop (NRC, 2010). The framework rests on the following assumptions:

  • Disaster resilience correlates strongly with community resilience, including economic, environmental, health, and social-justice factors.

  • Private–public collaboration is based on collaborative relationships in which two or more private and public entities pool and coordinate the use of complementary resources through the joint pursuit of common objectives.

  • Effective collaboration ideally encompasses the full fabric of the community and is representative of all walks of life—including minorities, the impoverished or disenfranchised, children, and the elderly—so a community-engagement approach is essential for the success of resilience-focused collaboration.

  • Principles of comprehensive emergency management, incorporating an all-hazards approach, guide resilience-focused collaboration-building efforts.

The framework adopted by the committee assumes that disaster resilience is closely linked with broader capacity-building strategies aimed at long-term community and environmental sustainability. The relationship between disaster resilience and sustainability is directly proportional: communities that suffer high losses in disasters are often the ones that have paid little attention to overall sustainability issues, and communities that actively plan for a more sustainable future are more likely to achieve disaster resilience. Thus, resilience-focused collaboration is likely to be most effective when integrated with and built on broader community functions, including those associated with public health and safety, economic viability, housing quality, infrastructure development, and environmental quality. As multiple workshop participants noted, community resilience involves more than disaster response (NRC, 2010).

Why Collaborate?

Scholarship focusing on the evolution of institutional forms emphasizes that such activities as the production and delivery of goods and services are seldom undertaken by single large corporations or by vast government bureaucracies. Rather, various parties that own or manage different types of resources work in concert to produce and provide goods and services.

The same societal trends influence efforts related to disaster-loss reduction. Taking an example from the homeland security arena, the Department of Homeland Security has a statutory responsibility to protect the critical infrastructure of the United States, but much

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