Governments and agencies the world over are looking at different ways of “building resilience” in communities, with community led approaches being championed as best practice.
The World Bank estimates that every $1 invested in disaster resilience can save up to $15 in recovery costs. As the amount and frequency of disasters increase, investing up front makes a lot more sense.
Communities can often do a lot more for themselves with the funding on offer, in kind support and good connections when they’re not hampered by bureaucracy.
It makes sense that a community resilience approach is underpinned by a philosophy that seeks to leverage every $ invested as well as resources, knowledge and investment. This is undertaken in many ways:
Community owned programs are not burdened by bureaucratic procurement policies which can contribute to increased administration costs or indiscriminately discriminate and or block local support to major projects.
Communities can activate the diverse skills and abilities within the community to contribute to community based programs.
Communities can activate the goodwill of corporates and not for profits bodies more readily than government organisations and departments.
A broad range of grants and programs are designed to activate and support community based initiatives.
The Six-Step Future Ready Communities Model has informed many resilience strengthening initiatives with communities for nearly a decade and as such has built a network of contacts that have continued to support new communities undertaking the Six-Step resilience journey.
We’re seeing it in Millgrove, in the Yarra Valley at the moment as their big thinking projects spark interest in philanthropic and corporate organisations keen to support.
Another really practical example is the Warburton community, in Victoria, and their need for ABC Radio coverage.
One of their community projects identified a significant gap in the national emergency broadcasting communications for one of Victoria’s highest bushfire risk towns.
The community established a project to gain ABC coverage across the district. The program, if led by government, would have cost over $1 million. However, under this model, the community was able to deliver the project for $54,000 (with the support of corporate entities and a lot of in-kind technical support).