Community resilience updates, resources, and events from RAND

RAND Corporation: Focus on Community Resilience Newsletter

May 2012

Periodic updates on community resilience work at RAND

Taking Action

Podcast: Remaking a School System in the Wake of Natural Disaster

Resilient Communities Podcast

In this episode, Jennifer Steele discusses the differences in policies and practices between charter and traditional schools in New Orleans, where charter-based reform spread in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Schools are hubs for community preparedness and social recovery, so it is critical to understand how they can be reconstituted following disasters — as well as how disasters can spur innovation.

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Tools & Resources

More From the Community Resilience Roadmap: Focus on Quality

file folders

Communities' abilities to collect, analyze, and use data are critical for evaluating community resilience progress. For example, if a community cannot adequately monitor disease incidence and the quality and continuity of responsive care, it may not recover quickly. Strategies to evaluate community resilience progress include:

  • Integrating core data elements across health, behavioral health, and social recovery into disaster plans and common databases.
  • Using monitoring and evaluation data, such as resilience and recovery-related lessons learned within and across communities, for ongoing quality improvement.
  • Collecting data regularly on community resilience measures, such as:
    • Partnerships between community organizations for preparedness
    • Individuals' abilities to rely on neighbors during a disaster.

For sample measures and more information, click the link below.

 Read the Report

What Can the U.S. Learn From Other Countries?

flags from numerous countries

RAND researchers identified 49 exemplary practices from 10 different countries' approaches to international disaster management. These practices validate elements of community resilience suggested by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21, as well as RAND's model of community resilience. While each disaster is unique, these elements apply broadly across countries and disaster settings.

 Read the Report

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Measure Community Resilience?

Measuring community resilience is complex, but we can demonstrate whether communities have adequate capacities and capabilities to mitigate vulnerabilities and shorten recovery time by measuring proxies for resilience, including:

  • A socially connected population for disaster response and recovery
  • Engaged nongovernmental organizations represented in community response and recovery plans
  • The ability to integrate lessons learned from previous incidents.

Conferences and Events

Fostering Resilience in Rural Communities

mailboxes along a dirt road

RAND researchers recently conducted a workshop entitled Developing Resilient Rural Communities: Lessons Learned and New Strategies for Emergency Preparedness and Beyond at the 8th Annual Rural Public Health Institute. The workshop included a diverse group of attendees — from local public health departments, congressional offices, and community organizations — and explored how resilience principles apply in rural settings, with particular attention to unique rural vulnerabilities and assets.

Strategies to Build and Measure Community Resilience

RAND researchers, in partnership with federal agencies and local health departments, presented at the National Association of City and County Health Official's annual public health preparedness summit.

A town hall presentation offered strategies, resources, and related supports currently used to strengthen community resilience, and described how federal and local stakeholders will measure success. Audience members posed questions and shared community practices for strengthening resilience. Another presentation examined the challenges of and opportunities for measuring community resilience, highlighting ongoing measure development efforts (e.g., Centers for Disease Control) and offering examples of possible measures, such as community recovery capacity.

 Learn about the Summit

Web-Based Training on Building Community Resilience

group of people completing web training

To provide more concrete information on planning elements and processes for building community resilience, RAND is developing a web-based training module that will introduce a 10-item community resilience planning checklist. RAND will release the final module late this summer.

Get Involved

We want to hear from you! Share your ideas about building community resilience so that we can discuss your concerns in future issues of this newsletter or in the podcast. Contact us at

 Learn More on the Community Resilience Topic Page


This newsletter is a product of the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute and is made possible with support from the Charles M. and Mary D. Grant Foundation.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve
policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis.

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