Partners in Preparedness: How Governments Can Leverage the Strengths of NGOs in Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

RAND Congressional Briefing Series


  • Joie Acosta Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corporation
  • Jan Epstein The Allstate Foundation
  • Ann Williamson President and CEO, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations
  • Thad Allen Senior Fellow, RAND Corporation; National Incident Commander, Deepwater Horizon Unified Command; Admiral, United States Coast Guard (retired)

On the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute, in partnership with the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations and with sponsorship from The Allstate Foundation, held a community conference that focused on the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in disaster response and recovery, helping displaced and returning populations, and post-disaster mental health services and psychological recovery. The goal of the conference was to formulate action plans and policy recommendations.

This briefing presents those plans and recommendations, including the need to

  • define and formalize NGO roles and responsibilities
  • create guidance on allocation of resources
  • increase community capacity to deliver seamless services through NGO partnerships
  • improve information sharing
  • pursue a research agenda that focuses on evidence-based implementation.

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