Locally-augmented resilience measurement in New Zealand

 

11/12/2018

By Ellie Kay and Dr Joanne Stevenson


The Trajectories Toolbox team are working to extend the New Zealand Resilience Index (NZRI) for specific regions and urban areas using local datasets. Expanding the NZRI can help local and regional authorities better understand their community’s capacity to survive and thrive in the face of disaster.

 

Photo © GNS Science/Margaret Low

Trajectories Toolbox researchers are investigating how to incorporate local datasets and community insights to build on the New Zealand Resilience Index. In its current form, the index includes several high-level indicators of resilience. These cover a multi-capital model incorporating social, economic, built environment, natural environment, cultural, and institutional resilience. However, there are many concepts that the index cannot currently capture due to a lack of quality, nationally available data. The Trajectories team is working to expand the NZRI to provide a better understanding of holistic community resilience. Working with co-creation partners in Wellington, they are identifying regional datasets that can be integrated into the NZRI and helping to provide insight into datasets that may be repurposed to make the picture of community resilience clearer. In undertaking this process, they are also highlighting where the collection of additional primary data will aid in filling gaps in our ability to benchmark and monitor disaster resilience.

The Wellington case study will allow the Trajectories team to create a guide for local and regional based governments to help steer them through the resilience measurement journey. The guide will showcase the usefulness of the NZRI, explaining the indicators that are included and the uses and limitations of the tool. Following this, an example of how additional datasets can be incorporated into the index will help users understand the flexibility of the tool. Furthermore, the overlaying of hazard data will expand the understanding of both communities’ strengths and areas for improvements.

 

Photo: Andrea Schaffer via Flikr

The work that the Trajectories team is currently undertaking with their Wellington partners is aimed at both starting resilience measurement conversations and providing a guideline for resilience measurement in place-based communities in New Zealand. Incorporating local and regionally available datasets will help us see the rich landscape of community capacity, allowing for the discovery of opportunities for targeted interventions to build resilience.