has also been used in discussions on such topics as climate-related decision support (NRC, 2009). In that domain, for example, boundary organizations are seen as playing a useful and productive role in supporting interactions between scientists and users of scientific information. Such organizations facilitate communication not only between scientists and other constituencies, but also among diverse stakeholders; they help sustain interaction over time and provide an environment in which interorganizational conflict and competition can be minimized. The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and its Multihazard Mitigation Council (MMC; see Box 4.1), the Applied Technology Council (see Box 4.2), and the Natural Hazards Center (see Box 4.3) are examples of boundary organizations that seek to address specific types of disaster-resilience needs. They perform many useful functions, as indicated by their longevity and ability to attract resources, the use of their products, and their influence on loss-reduction policies and practices (MMC, 2005).12 However, the niches that boundary organizations occupy are relatively narrow compared with the holistic goals of all-hazards resilience enhancement. It is equally important that none of those or the many other boundary organizations are explicitly concerned with working with diverse constituencies on broad-based resilience activities.

To create productive private–public collaboration, more time and effort will need to be devoted to facilitating multisector collaboration for enhanced disaster resilience. Providing training and educational experiences for private- and public-sector personnel, offering incentives to those who engage in boundary-spanning activities, and supporting and expanding the activities of boundary organizations whose missions are consistent with resilience goals will bring progress toward that goal. Multisector collaboration is unlikely on broad scales unless action is also taken at the national level to address the fragmentation and lack of coordination, discussed below, that currently characterize societal efforts to improve disaster resilience. If the status quo is allowed to persist, resilience-focused collaboration will continue to be narrow, specialized, noninclusive, uneven, and uncoordinated across all sectors of society and in terms of resilience objectives.


Although the United States had previously embraced a comprehensive, all-hazards approach to emergency management, the events of September 11, 2001 led to, among other things, a host of new programs and funding opportunities to enhance community resilience. It also, however, helped to create a bifurcated national emergency-management system that both elevated terrorist threats above other threats and led to the proliferation of separate systems for terrorism and hazards management at state and local levels. Executive orders,


For example, the NIBS MMC study was conducted in response to a congressional mandate and demonstrated through the use of rigorous analytic approaches that investments in mitigation result in savings to the nation and the federal treasury.

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