BOX 1.1

Statement of Task

A National Research Council committee will assess the current state of the art in private–public sector partnerships dedicated to strengthening community resilience, identify gaps in knowledge and practice, and recommend research areas that could be targeted for research investment by the DHS Human Factors Division.

In its report, the committee will:

  • Identify the components of a framework for private–public sector partnerships dedicated to strengthening community resilience;

  • Develop a set of guidelines for private sector engagement in the development of a framework for enhancing community resilience; and

  • Examine options and successful models of existing collaborations ranging from centralized to decentralized approaches, and make recommendations for a structure that could further the goal of collaboration between the private and public sectors for the objective of enhancing community resilience.

The study will be organized around a public workshop that explores issues including the following through invited presentations and facilitated discussions among invited participants:

  • Current efforts at the regional, state and community levels to develop private–public partnerships for the purpose of developing and enhancing community preparedness and resilience;

  • Motivators, inhibitors, advantages and liabilities for private sector engagement in private–public sector cooperation in planning, resource allocation and preparedness for natural and man-made hazards;

  • Distinctions in perceptions or motivations between large national-level corporations and the small business community that might influence the formation of private–public sector partnerships, particularly in smaller or rural communities;

  • Gaps in current knowledge and practice in private–public sector partnerships that inhibit the ability to develop collaboration across sectors;

  • Research areas that could bridge these gaps; and

  • Design, development and implementation of collaborative endeavors for the purpose of strengthening the resilience of communities to natural and man-made hazards.


The term resilience is encountered in many disciplines, but no definition is common to all. Different elements or attributes of resilience are emphasized, but all definitions speak in a general way to the continued ability of a person, group, or system to adapt to stress—such

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