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Role of boundary organization after a disaster: New Zealand’s natural hazards research platform and the 2010–2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence

Beaven, S., Wilson, T., Johnston, L., Johnston, D. and Smith, R. (2017) Role of boundary organization after a disaster: New Zealand’s natural hazards research platform and the 2010–2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence. Natural Hazards Review, 18 (2). Art. 05016003.

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Abstract

The boundary organization concept has been used to establish that collaborative arrangements and outputs across science and policy domain boundaries need to be credible, relevant, and legitimate in order to be to be effective. Although widely accepted in other issue-driven fields, this concept does not have equivalent currency in the natural hazard and disaster risk reduction context. This paper uses the development of the New Zealand Natural Hazards Research Platform during a recent earthquake disaster to assess the utility of the concept in this topic area. Lessons are also identified concerning the use of larger consortium organizations to increase policy and other end-user involvement in the management and coordination of research funding, and the impact of a major disaster on this research-funding initiative. Mapping the Platform’s collaborative arrangements in relation to boundary tensions over time makes it possible to distinguish disaster effects from preexisting and ongoing structural effects and incentive regimes. Largely based in the research domain, this organization was well placed to resist the negative pressure of postdisaster time compression on research quality. The lack of balancing policy input at all levels made it difficult to resist the effect of this pressure on the networking required to integrate disciplinary, organizational, and higher-level science/policy domains, and thus build the legitimacy of the larger collaboration. The utility of the boundary organization concept stemmed from the emphasis on balance across domains and scales. The focus on effects, trends, and patterns serves as a counterweight to the blame attribution common after high-profile disasters

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: ASCE Library
Copyright: © 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/59291
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