Fire To Flourish

Funding agency

Paul Ramsay Foundation (PRF) and Metal Manufactures Pty Ltd

Project period

2021-2025

Researchers

Summary

Fire to Flourish is a 5 year program that brings together the University’s transdisciplinary research capabilities to work with bushfire-affected communities to advance community-led resilience and shape their trajectories towards a thriving future. Fire to Flourish will develop an inclusive, participatory and evidence-based model for strengthening resilience across social, built, natural, institutional and economic domains. The Program’s core research question is ‘how can community-led action strengthen disaster recovery efforts and resilience in ways that disrupt cycles of disadvantage and improve people’s lives?’. The research framework comprises three work packages: integrated evaluation, practices of community-led resilience and systems change. The Program has a significant focus on supporting communities to lead their own local initiatives and connect with each other to create the capacity, conditions and solutions for their long-term resilience.

The CHE team will lead research that describes the causal impacts of the Black Summer Bushfires on the social, health and economic wellbeing of the partner communities. Specific goals are to better understand the variation in outcomes, determinants of resilience, and how impacts evolved over time. This new knowledge will help inform the design of the community-led initiatives. The second aim is to estimate whether the community-led initiatives accelerated disaster recovery, reduced socioeconomic disadvantage, and led to overall improvements in community wellbeing. Ideally, these analyses will identify the contextual conditions that promoted positive change; thus delivering broader insights about the factors that enhance community-led recovery programs. The project will provide policy-relevant causal estimates by analysing survey and administrative data on individuals before and after the bushfire events and the commencement of the initiatives.

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