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1 ________________________________________________________________________ Introduction A communityâs ability to respond to and recover from natural or human-caused disasters is in part dependent on the strength and effectiveness of its social networks. Effective interventionsâactivities designed to change or improve conditions in the communityâduring all phases of a disaster can be facilitated by community leaders taking advantage of existing social networks to send and receive information. Conversely, a community may be at risk if the relationships across the economic, cultural, social, and political sectors of the civic infrastructure are not understood. The ability to visualize interactions within and between community networks (for example, who communicates or works with whom) promotes situational awareness, rigorous coordinated planning, and the optimal allocation of resources necessary for disaster preparedness, community resilience, and response. In sociological terms, community resilience is the ability of a community or social unit to withstand external shocks to its infrastructure (Norris et al., 2008). Community resilience emerges from the ability to adapt to stress and return to healthy functioning. The speed with which a community can mobilize and use resources during and following a disaster event is strongly dependent on its various capacities to adapt to change and is related to the strength of its social networks. Social network analysis (SNA) is the study of complex human systems through the mapping and characterizing of relationships between people, groups, or organizations. Because SNA can reveal the characteristics, composition, and structure of existing net- works, SNA may prove an important tool for understanding how the public and private sectors work together to respond to a disaster. SNA has been used to inform policy making in areas such as terrorism prevention, and could be useful for building commu- nity disaster resilience. SNA could also be used to design or build networks for the purpose of building community resilience. The Human Factors Division within the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) applies social and behavioral sciences to support the preparedness, response, and recovery of communities affected by catastrophic events. Its goal is to advance homeland security technologies and planning by integrating human factors. The DHS contracted with the National Research Council 9
10 APPLICATIONS OF SNA FOR BUILDING COMMUNITY DISASTER RESILIENCE (NRC) to hold a two-day workshop to examine the current state of the art in SNA and its applicability to the identification, construction, and strengthening of networks within U.S. communities for the purpose of building community disaster resilience. To answer its charge, the NRC formed an ad hoc workshop planning committee under the auspices of the Geographical Sciences Committee of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources. The committee was tasked with organizing and conducting the workshop. The committeeâs statement of task is provided in Box 1-1. It includes the identification of elements of a future research agenda to support the design, development, and implemen- tation of social networks for the specific purpose of strengthening the resilience of com- munities against natural and man-made hazards and terrorist events. The workshop took place February 11-12, 2009, and featured presentations and discussions on social net- works, social networking tools, SNA theory and tools, and community resilience. As described by Michael Dunaway of DHS, the ultimate result of a research agenda influenced by this workshop summary could be the creation of accessible tools that would enable county-level emergency management directors and other community leaders to define and visualize networks within their communities. With the ability to identify relationships within and among networks, social structures and adaptive capaci- ties can be built and reinforced to make communities more disaster resilient. Workshop participants discussed whether such tools were possible and the type of research that could enable their development. BOX 1-1 Statement of Task An ad hoc committee will organize a two-day public workshop to examine the current state of the art in Social Network Analysis (SNA) and its applicability to the identification, construction, and strengthening of networks within U.S. communities for the purpose of building community resilience. The workshop will explore the topic through invited presentations and facilitated discussions among invited participants, including the following issues: ï· Current work in SNA that has focused on defining the characteristics, composition, and structure of existing networks (e.g., terrorist cells; infectious disease transmission; narcotics trafficking); ï· Theories, principles, or hypotheses within the science of SNA that could be applied to the construction of designed networks to develop or enhance the strength of relationships within geographic or functional communities; ï· Current research that has focused on the use of SNA for the development of designed networks; ï· Gaps in current knowledge within the field of SNA that would inhibit the ability to apply SNA theories or principles to the construction of networks; ï· Research areas that could fill gaps in this knowledge; and ï· Elements of a research agenda that could be pursued to support the design, develop- ment, and implementation of social networks for the specific purpose of strengthening the resilience of communities against natural and man-made hazards and terrorist events.
INTRODUCTION 11 WORKSHOP PLANNING The Planning Committee The workshop planning committee consisted of six members with expertise in the ar- eas of SNA, spatial social science, hazards, resilience science, and community and disas- ter management. Appendix A provides biographies of the planning committee members. The committee held five teleconferences to discuss the statement of task, identify work- shop participants, and develop an agenda. References shared among the committee mem- bers became the basis for the bibliography included in the workshop briefing materials and as Appendix B of this document. Structure of the Workshop The workshop planning committee selected two major themes around which to or- ganize the workshop: the use of SNA for preparedness and intervention, and the use of SNA in improvisational disaster response. The committee invited researchers and emer- gency management practitionersâthose with their âboots on the groundâ during an emergencyâto participate. Researchers and community leaders from different geo- graphical regions of the country, and with varying disaster experiences, were invited so that a broad range of issues and perspectives could be considered. A list of participants is presented as Appendix C of this document. Participants included individuals familiar with SNA for other purposes, such as identification of terrorist cells and for the development of programs to thwart the spread of infectious disease. Individuals that work with populations that could be disenfranchised during an emergency, such as the non- English speaking poor, were included among participants. The workshop agenda appears in Box 1-2. The planning committee devoted the first morning of the workshop to defining topics to be discussed, including community resilience, social networking, and the states of the science and practice of SNA. Case studies in the use of social networks and SNA were provided. Summaries of presentations and discussions are found in Chapter 2. As indi- cated in Box 1-2, the introductory session was followed by concurrent breakout sessions on the major workshop themes, moderated by a member of the planning committee. The first set of concurrent sessions addressed how SNA could be used to enhance communi- cation, and how SNA could be used for planning interventions in preparation for a disas- ter. The second set of concurrent breakout sessions addressed how SNA might enhance communications when coordinating the improvisational response of networks of organizations; and how SNA could enhance communication within local communities and among individuals. Breakout sessions concluded with a reconvening of workshop participants to summarize discussions. Appendix D includes descriptions of breakout session topics as well as questions developed by the workshop planning committee to guide discussion. Workshop participants were given these descriptions and questions before the workshop.
12 APPLICATIONS OF SNA FOR BUILDING COMMUNITY DISASTER RESILIENCE A concluding plenary session focused on key gaps in knowledge regarding the ap- plication of SNA to foster community disaster resilience and the research needed to fill them. Specific research themes were considered. WORKSHOP SUMMARY ORGANIZATION This document summarizes the major points and ideas presented at the workshop as documented by a rapporteur. The summary reflects the specific topics emphasized by workshop presentations and discussions and may not be a comprehensive summary of all relevant topics and issues. Any documented observations contained in this summary are those of individual participants or groups of participants and do not necessarily represent the consensus of the workshop participants or planning committee, nor does the summary contain any consensus conclusions or recommendations. This workshop summary is organized into four chapters. This chapter introduces the reader to the purpose and organization of the workshop. Chapter 2 summarizes the introductory presentations and discussions and explores the current states of the science and practice as presented by workshop speakers. Definitions of key terms used by workshop participants and in this summary are also provided. Chapter 3 summarizes the discussions of the utility of SNA in identifying networks and improving community resiliency before and during a disaster and in the response and recovery phases of a dis- aster. Chapter 4 synthesizes the ideas of workshop participants on how to move from the theoretical realm to the practical application of SNA for improving community resilience. Gaps in knowledge and potential research that could fill those gaps as identified by par- ticipants are summarized, as are barriers to SNA research and application.
INTRODUCTION 13 BOX 1-2 Applications of Social Network Analysis for Building Community Disaster Resilience: A Workshop February 11-12, 2009 AGENDA Wednesday, February 11, 2009 8:30 Welcome and Introductory Remarks Susan Cutter, Ph.D., Chair, Committee on Applications of Social Network Analysis for Building Community Disaster Resilience University of South Carolina SESSION 1 INTRODUCTION: TOPIC OVERVIEW AND DEFINITIONS (PLENARY) 8:45 Current State of the Art in Social Network Analysis Kathleen Carley, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University Institute for Software Research International 9:05 Discussion 9:20 Fostering Community Resiliency: Theory and Practice Fran H. Norris, Ph.D., Dartmouth Medical School National Center for Disaster Mental Health Research 9:40 Discussion 10:10 Reaching Vulnerable Populations through Social Networks Carl Latkin, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 10:30 Discussion 10:45 Using Social Networks to Enhance Communications Michael Byrne, ICF International 11:05 Discussion 11:20 Synthesis and Discussion of Goals for Breakout Sessions Susan Cutter, Chair SESSION 2 USING SNA FOR PREPAREDNESS AND INTERVENTION (CONCURRENT SESSIONS) 1:00 p.m. Session 2a: Communication Moderator: William A. V. Clark, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles Rapporteur: Kathleen Carley, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University
14 APPLICATIONS OF SNA FOR BUILDING COMMUNITY DISASTER RESILIENCE Session 2b: Planned Interventions Moderator: Randolph H. Rowel, Ph.D., Morgan State University Rapporteur: Monica Schoch-Spana, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Plenary Session 3:45 Reports from Break-out Sessions & Wrap Up 4:30 Adjourn Thursday, February 12, 2009 SESSION 3 IMPROVISATIONAL DISASTER RESPONSE (CONCURRENT SESSIONS) 8:30 Session 3a: Networks of Organizational Connections Moderator: Monica Schoch-Spana, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Rapporteur: William A. V. Clark, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles Session 3b: Networks within Local Communities and between Individuals Moderator: Eric Holdeman, ICF International Rapporteur: Randolph H. Rowel, Ph.D., Morgan State University Plenary Session 11:15 Reports from Break-out Sessions & Wrap Up SESSION 4 RESEARCH NEEDS AND IMPLEMENTATION GAPS (PLENARY) 1:00 p.m. What we donât know and need to know about SNA and resilience â¢ Identification of knowledge gaps and priority research areas â¢ Identification of specific research themes that enhance implementation of social networks as a means for increasing community resilience against disasters. 2:30 Next Steps: Moving the research agenda forward 3:45 Closing Remarks Susan Cutter, Chair 4:30 Adjourn