Banda Aceh, Indonesia, 9 months after the Indian Ocean Tsunami.  Source: Victoria Maynard

Linking policy, practice and evidence

Following a disaster local, national and international decision-makers make complex choices in a rapidly changing situation.  They must match the needs of affected communities with the various mandates, capacities and funding of assisting organisations: balancing the need for rapid recovery of people’s lives and livelihoods with the aspiration to ‘build back better’ and reduce vulnerability to future disasters.  Disasters are frequently cited as ‘windows of opportunity’ for positive change, yet the window is small and closes quickly amid these competing demands.

My research focuses on the links between policy, practice and evidence regarding post-disaster housing processes.  I hope that a better understanding of the decisions made following disasters (policy), linked both to their implications for practice and their short- and long-term impacts (evidence) can strengthen our understanding and improve the effectiveness of our responses to future disasters.

Undertaking a PhD is a long and lonely process and I know that few people will have the time to read my final thesis.  Thus I intend to use this blog to share interesting discoveries and document my thoughts as I undertake this journey – hopefully to generate exciting discussions and opportunities for collaboration on route.