Recovery, Renewal, Resilience: Developing guidance for local Resilience
Our project takes a systems approach to Recovery and Renewal from COVID-19 to build Resilience. We are developing a new framework which supports Resilience partners as they design Recovery Strategies that will reinstate local preparedness for future emergencies. The framework also supports those who design Renewal Initiatives that strive to deliver major transformations of local Resilience. The framework is being developed through extensive partnership working with local governments, and has led to an international standard (ISO 22393) on Recovery and Renewal for Resilience. Our framework, partnership working, and ISO 22393 aim to make a difference in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Our project team produces ‘The Manchester Briefing on COVID-19’, a fortnightly document that brings together international lessons which may prompt thinking on Recovery and Renewal from COVID-19. The Manchester Briefing is distributed to over 50,000 through a network of partners and is core to our engagement with the Resilient Cities Network which disseminates it to its 4,000 cities.
This graphic offers an overview of who we are and our activities and outputs through the Recovery, Renewal, Resilience project.
This research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to Covid-19 (Project number: ES/V015346/1), by The University of Manchester, and partners.
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Recovery, Renewal, Resilience: Developing guidance for local Resilience
Concentrating on local government, the project develops a new framework to design and implement transactional Recovery Strategies that prepare for future emergencies and ambitious Renewal Initiatives that facilitate major transformation of local Resilience. The framework will:
- Take a whole system approach to Recovery and Renewal (from community to national)
- Explore how to manage the changes in people, places and processes that is needed
- Address short-term, transactional Recovery as well as longer-term, transformational Renewal
- Complement existing guidance and Resilience standards and lead to an international standard (ISO22393: Guidelines for planning Recovery and Renewal)
The aftermath of COVID-19 presents a multitude of challenges and opportunities for local communities. Our project will develop a framework for local government and communities that outlines how to design Recovery Strategies and Renewal Initiatives to build local Resilience. The framework will offer guidance for how local areas can initially Recover by reinstating their preparedness for the next emergency. It will also provide guidance on how to design ambitious Renewal Initiatives that transform communities to enhance local Resilience.
Through action research, the project will co-produce this framework with local governments and communities as they plan and implement COVID-19 strategies over the next 18 months. The framework will be developed, evaluated, and refined across different locations, ensuring its efficacy for different contexts and the unique circumstances they face. In addition, a programme of longitudinal engagement with international experts will collect experiences to identify wider perspectives of Recovery and Renewal. The final framework will inform the process of Recovery and Renewal and prepare for future crises, reducing future risk.
The project will capture new knowledge in academic articles and provide local government with supplementary resources to inform their planning of Recovery and Renewal. The framework will form an ISO international standard that is co-developed with an international team of Recovery and Renewal experts to enhance its wider applicability. The framework will be informed by (and inform) the committees that coordinate Recovery and Renewal in a local area by working closely with the Resilience partners and engaging with local and national organisations on how they plan Recovery and Renewal on a system-wide basis. Our local government partners have different structures and geographies so we can create a framework that is widely applicable to local variations.
We know that places are at different stages of thinking about the aftermath of COVID-19. In the project we aim to involve those that may not yet have formally begun (nor have the structures to begin) their Recovery and Renewal process, as well as involve those that are perhaps more advanced in their thinking and activity.
• Collect and analyse national/international lessons on Recovery and Renewal
• Interview experts across the world on emergency planning, risk, Recovery, and Resilience
• Contribute to three local committees that coordinate their city’s Recovery and Renewal projects (which we have expanded to 9 committees)
• Facilitate webinars on Recovery and Renewal for Resilience
• Producing training modules (video, materials, etc) and deliver training to groups that coordinate Recovery and Renewal
• Develop and test a framework for Recovery and Renewal, refine it in different contexts (national and international), learn about its application, and use feedback to improve it
• Develop and test a methodology to assess the impact of the framework
• Expert briefings on how to implement recovery and renewal for local resilience
• A searchable database of lessons for recovery and renewal for local resilience
• A theoretically underpinned, practice-tested framework to support thinking about recovery and renewal for local resilience
• A self-evaluation methodology to reflect on recovery practices
• The Manchester Briefing, case studies, and training products
• International and national standards having a global impact
Recovery, Renewal, Resilience: Our research projects
The team is working on a range of COVID-19 research topics within three areas of: 1. Communities 2. Systems 3. Recovery, Renewal, Resilience Frameworks. We have grouped the research projects according to their relevance to these three impact areas. In the descriptions below, we highlight the key issues and insights that our research activities aim to address.
Operationalising community resilience as a Local Resilience Capability
Community resilience is such an intractable issue that is often difficult to pin down – yet the actions of local people have been central to supporting those who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. In thinking about community resilience post-COVID, Duncan Shaw, David Powell and Szymon Parzniewski will research how to operationalise the resilience capabilities of our communities and how such capabilities can be activated when needed. They call this Local Resilience Capability (LRC). The place to start with LRC is understanding what local resilience partners and communities can do to support each other to build resilience of an area by lowering risks and vulnerabilities and enhancing preparedness. For example, how can communities provide local intelligence on new community risks into a Local Resilience Forum, and how can resilience partners help communities to enhance local resilience to emergencies. This project delves deeper into relationships, assurance, delivery, community governance, and many other dimensions.
This research will work with local areas to: (a) articulate a new approach to community resilience centred on local resilience capabilities that can be activated; (b) propose a means of measuring confidence in the local resilience capability; (c) show the complementary roles of a wide range of partners in local resilience.
COVID-19: Coping Mechanisms of Ethnic Minorities & Refugees
Research by Gemma Sou, Ilma Nur Chowdhury, Szymon Parzniewski, and Duncan Shaw aims to provide new insights to the experiences of minorities and refugees during COVID-19. The main purpose of this study: (a) is to identify what actions organisations are taking (or not) to sustain the recovery of refugees; and (b) what more organisations could be doing to build recovery and resilience among such communities during disasters. This study follows a qualitative research design and collects expert data with interviews. This research study strives to contribute to the current literature in multiple ways: (a) by providing a greater understanding about refugees’ experiences during challenging times like COVID-19; and (b) by proposing a framework that can support the recovery processes and resilience building of refugee communities.
Nat O’Grady is undertaking research that explores the development and enactment of recovery strategies and their rationalisation under a broader hegemonic resilience motif that in recent times has subsumed emergency governance logics. This research project aims to contribute to extant debates to geography, anthropology, IR and politics in various ways: (a) concerning recovery and resilience as modes of governance deployed to attend to emergencies; and (b) to rethink recovery through practices that seek to provide reparations for communities subjected to different forms of violence. Drawing on field interviews, this work aims to show how the potential for reparative politics incubates in current decision making concerning how to re-establish renditions of life in amidst and in the wake of covid-19.
Recovering and renewing community resilience: lessons learned from the 2010 Chile earthquake and COVID-19
Jenny Andrea Moreno by identifying lessons from the 2010 Chile earthquake and COVID-19 in Talcahuano City, is exploring how realised community resilience in previous disasters can be transferred to future disaster events. This research project endeavours to identify: (a) how community resilience can be transferred from one disaster to another; and (b) how major previous disasters have affected response and recovery during COVID-19. This empirical paper will employ a qualitative methodological approach and research design and collects data through semi-structured interviews. This research project aims to contribute to the extant literature by: (a) enhancing understanding of the process of learning and transferring community resilience, a scarcely investigated area within the community resilience research domain; and (b) by proposing practical implications for policy makers as to how community resilience learned in previous disasters can be integrated and applied to recovery from COVID-19 in local governments.
Organisational renewal and/or resilience of micro-businesses during COVID-18: A Palestinian Case Study
Judy Scully, Ayham Fattoum, Magda Hassan, Róisín Jordan, Simos Chari and Duncan Shaw are examining the impacts of COVID-19 on micro-business resilience and renewal capabilities in Palestine. This study employs a qualitative methodological approach and research design and will gather data through semi-structured interviews with Palestinian micro-business owners. The core purpose of this research study is: (a) to understand the concept of SUMUD; the context in which Palestinian micro-businesses operate; and (b) to understand the strategies and coping mechanisms of Palestine micro-businesses on their ability to survive and/or thrive in highly volatile environments such as COVID-19. In the Palestinian context, SUMUD, is a complex phenomenon that resembles the resilience and resistance of the Palestinian people in facing the political and economic environment in which they live. This research will afford insights into the drivers and consequences of SUMUD among Palestinian micro-businesses by demonstrating best practices, intuition, innovation, and entrepreneurial practices for coping with COVID-19 within a complex environment.
Engaging communities and volunteers dynamically to enhance resilience during emergencies
This project, conducted by Ayham Fattoum, Alan Boyd and Duncan Shaw, will introduce and test a novel holistic organisational design for engaging communities. This study will enhance organisational resilience, effectiveness, and efficiency through creating rapid and dynamic adaption to environmental stresses. This research follows a mixed-method approach by drawing on insights generated through interview data and action research/case study design. The mixed-methods approach to this study will enable an exploration of systemic challenges and solutions to engaging volunteers, community groups, or other organisations and businesses during COVID-19. This work aims to contribute to the literature in two ways: (a) by expanding systemic principles such as open systems and permeable boundaries to enhance resilience during emergencies, and (b) by introducing these systems principles to the theory of Viable Systems Modelling and complexity management to enhance the resilience and agility of those systems.
Identifying priority research needs for the effective regulation and oversight of emergency planning across organisations
Alan Boyd, David Powell and Duncan Shaw are conducting a study to identify research that could be particularly helpful to inform how regulatory and oversight bodies support coordinated resilience and emergency preparedness across different organisations and stakeholders. There will be a particular focus on supporting the contribution of health and social care organisations in England. The purpose of the study is to inform future proposals for funding to conduct the research that is needed. The study will include a rapid literature review, interviews with staff from regulatory and oversight bodies, and interviews with other researchers.
This study aims to identify research needs in four areas: a) regulation and oversight at the system level; b) coordinating the activities of different regulators and oversight bodies, such as through joint projects, memorandums of understanding and coordinated development of standards, guidance and assessment frameworks; c) assessing the contribution that individual organisations make to system resilience, response and recovery; d) the scope and powers of regulatory and oversight bodies.
Ultra-Permeable boundaries: Criteria and process of timely engagement of communities and volunteers for resilient systems during emergencies
In this topic, Ayham Fattoum, Alan Boyd and Duncan Shaw introduce the novel concept of ultra-permeable boundaries. Ultra-boundaries involve studying features and mechanisms that enable a safe and effective flow of resources into and out of the system. This concept allows, in addition to information, physical resources (e.g. human resources/volunteers) to cross into and work for the organisation to support its resilience and agility during emergencies and periods of high or unique demand on resources. The core purpose of this research is to identify how volunteers, community groups, or support from other organisations and businesses were utilised during COVID-19. Following a mixed-methods approach and research design, this work will draw on interviews, focus groups and observations with decision-makers at different levels (management to operations) covering organisations involved in the response to COVID-19. This research aims to contribute to this area of research by expanding on the notion of permeable boundaries (that involves information sharing) and introduce the notion of ultra-permeable boundaries.
Exploring the factors that determine communities/volunteers trust in organisations and their willingness to volunteer with them during emergencies
Duncan Shaw, Ayham Fattoum and Alan Boyd are undertaking this empirical research which aims to explore the factors that determine the systemic and other characteristics that influence volunteers’ willingness to volunteer and support organisations during emergencies. The purpose of this paper is to enhance organisational resilience during emergencies by adjusting organisational design and culture to be more receptive to environmental support. This research will employ a mixed-methods methodological approach and research design through two stages; (a) in-depth interviews and focus groups to identify and understand the main variables affecting communities and organisations to volunteer; and (b) quantitative methods (i.e., structured questionnaires) will be applied to test, develop, and generalise these driving variables. This research aims to contribute to extant literature by exploring the systemic characteristics that promote a stronger relationship between organisations and their environment, and hence obtain needed support during adversity.
Managing complexity in viable systems: A framework for rapid decision-making at the operational level for higher resilience and viability
In this COVID-19 & Systems research project Ayham Fattoum, Alan Boyd, Duncan Shaw and Simos Chari are exploring operational solutions to enhance the autonomy of operational level personnel to rapidly analysing and acting on complexities during emergencies. The purpose of this research is to introduce flexible models of decision-making that enable this autonomy while maintaining the system’s coherence and the ability to qualitatively inform and assess these decisions. This study follows a mixed methods methodological approach and research design through interviews, focus groups and observation with decision-makers at different levels (management to operational) covering organisations involved in the response to COVID-19. This project will also draw on the analysis of how volunteers, community groups, or support from other organisations and businesses were utilised during COVID-19. This work strives to contribute to this area of research in three ways. Firstly, this work aims to propose a new decision-making framework that enables informed and rapid decisions nearest to the information source. Secondly, this research aims to contribute theoretically to solving the autonomy-control dilemma that exists in the literature. Thirdly, to suggest practical implications that inform policymakers and emergency responders on how to enable autonomy for on the ground staff for higher resilience and agility.
Recovery, Renewal, Resilience Frameworks
Towards more resilient and sustainable tourist-historic cities post-COVID
This research, led by Andrew McClelland and Duncan Shaw, is focused on the impacts of COVID-19 on tourism and how lessons learned during the pandemic are shaping the strategic thinking of tourist-historic cities in relation to recovery and renewal. Tourism is one of the global industries most impacted by the crisis and will experience significant disruption into the future given public-health measures and restrictions on the mobility of international travellers. Many places are highly dependent on the visitor economy and may struggle to recover at the same pace as other local economic sectors. Further, the present crisis has also underlined calls for remaking the industry in the face of climate change and other profound societal challenges.
Using qualitative interviews, this research will therefore explore (a) the response of tourist-historic cities to the impacts and implications of COVID-19; and (b) whether and how the crisis is being used to renew local tourism for a more sustainable and resilient future.
Before, During, and After COVID-19: A Longitudinal Study of Recovery and Renewal
Duncan Shaw, David Powell, Andrew McClelland and Simos Chari are conducting a longitudinal study of recovery and renewal from the arrival of COVID-19 to its aftermath. This study aims to; (a) extract similarities and differences across organizations and develop a generalizable and theoretically underpinned recovery and renewal framework, using longitudinal panel data collected at four different time points from across a range of countries; and (b) trial our recovery and renewal framework with groups in local and national organizations in five countries to identify how the framework may help them to think about, and coordinate, their approach to recovery and renewal to COVID-19. This will include how the framework supports them to develop plans, strategies, and initiatives, and underpins their motivation for recovery and renewal after the tiring response to COVID-19. This research will employ a mixed-methods methodological approach and research design, using action research, interviews and ethnographic research.
As an ongoing project, this research project plans to collect data at 4 different points in time. The first phase that covers the “before” aspects of COVID has been completed to understand how experts anticipate recovery. Currently, phase 2 of data collection is underway and aims to collect information on how recovery is being designed and how renewal is being considered. Data collection of all 4 phases will be completed by January 2022. This project aims to contribute a novel paper that monitors local and national recovery planning over time; specifically, before, during, and after COVID-19. The majority of the current papers published on recovery only take a snapshot of the planning process so provide a limited view. Striving to uncover the reality of developing recovery and renewal pathways for these organizations, this work also aims to provide a generalizable framework for recovery and renewal that informs how organizations can better plan for the aftermath of unanticipated disasters similar to COVID-19.
Informing a transformative post-COVID recovery framework using practitioner knowledge
Andrew McClelland, Duncan Shaw, and David Powell are drawing upon diverse practitioner perspectives collated by the project team in the early months of the pandemic to inform the development of a recovery framework that can enable a transactional recovery and transformative renewal from COVID-19. The unprecedented nature of the crisis means that renewal will be extremely complex and uncertain, casting a “long shadow” globally with prolonged and deeply uneven impacts upon different people and places. Rethinking the framework for recovery and renewal is important to address the immediate challenges of the crisis while developing societal resiliency and preparedness for analogous future shocks. This qualitative study will use interview data and wide-ranging literature to explore: (a) gaps in our understanding of post-disaster recovery, particularly concerning the limited focus on pandemics; and (b) the profound lessons emerging for recovery-related theory and practice deriving from COVID-19.
A Strategic Recovery, Renewal, Resilience Framework: Insights from Theory and Practice
Duncan Shaw, Simos Chari and Andrew McClelland are developing a strategic recovery, renewal and resilience framework through empirical research. This project aims (a) to use a discovery-oriented approach and insights from theory and practice, to develop a generalizable and theoretically underpinned framework for strategic recovery, renewal, and resilience; and (b) to test the framework of strategic recovery, renewal, resilience with additional survey data to ensure its applicability. This research study will employ a mixed-methods methodological approach and research design through two phases. The first involves the application of a discovery-oriented approach to develop a conceptual framework identifying key variables and relationships that are important in understanding strategic recovery, renewal, and resilience. A discovery-oriented approach involves supplementing the literature findings with field-based findings (e.g. ethnography, focus groups and interviews with senior managers). The second phase will conduct a large scale questionnaire survey, incorporating scales that have already undergone psychometric testing, to test the generalizability of the framework.
This research will provide a theoretically and practically anchored framework for strategic recovery, renewal, resilience that informs organizations how to build adaptive capacities for future unanticipated events.
Latest Recovery and Renewal insights
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
The National Consortium for Societal Resilience [UK+] has held its first national conference at AMBS with delegates from local resilience partnerships joining senior government figures to discuss societal resilience at a two-day event. >>
Mobilising and managing spontaneous volunteers during national and international emergencies, including COVID-19
Thursday, September 8, 2022
Find out more about our expert team below
Duncan is Professor in Operational Research and Critical Systems (Alliance Manchester Business School) at the University of Manchester. He works in the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute focusing on developing frameworks to support decision making in emergency planning, response and recovery. He has a particular interest in developing good governance around involving volunteers and community groups in the response to emergencies and in supporting community recovery to major disruptive events.
Duncan sits on numerous research, policy, planning and evaluation committees for the European Union, United Nations, international NGOs and networks, and governments across the world. He chairs a committee on Community Resilience for the International Standards Organization and wrote disaster-related international standards on spontaneous volunteers (ISO22319), conducting peer reviews (ISO22392), mass evacuation (ISO22315), and vulnerable people (ISO22395).
On COVID-19, he contributes to several local and national committees on response and recovery, working in the UK and with governments in many countries as they address the consequences of the virus. He is currently writing the international standard on recovery and renewal from pandemics (ISO22393).
Róisín is a Project Coordinator at University of Manchester and develops The Manchester Briefing which brings together international lessons on COVID-19. She received her BSc in Social Science from University College Dublin (2013) and recently undertook an MSc in Business Psychology at Aston University Birmingham (2020), with research interests in building resilience through leadership, behavioural change management and organisational development. Róisín is also certified with the British Psychological Society as an Occupational Test User. Prior to joining University of Manchester, she spent some years working in management and training in the private sector.
Jane is a Project Coordinator at the University of Manchester. She received her BA in Psychology from Moi University, Eldoret (2017) and has recently completed an MSc in Business Psychology at Aston University, Birmingham (2021). Her research interests include change management, organisational development, behaviour transformation and strategy renewal. Jane is a member of the Association of Business Psychology and has previously worked as a behaviour therapist and health systems transformation coordinator in Kenya.
Florence Best is an Assistant Project Coordinator at the University of Manchester with research interests in behaviour change management and organisational development. She obtained a BSc in Psychology (2020) and MSc in Organisational Psychology (2021) from the University of Manchester. Alongside studying, she gained experience as a research assistant at the University. Florence is a member of the British Psychological Society and a qualified Occupational Test User.
Following careers in the Army and Police Service, David went on to become Head of Emergency Planning & Business Continuity for Lincolnshire County Council, and Secretariat to the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum between 2008 and 2016. Founder and co-chair of the East Coast Flood Group – the collaboration between local sub-national and national government levels of resilience, developing co-ordinated planning and emergency responses to the Coastal Surge threat along the East Coast of the UK.
He is a passionate advocate for political commitment and strategic leadership during crisis, multi-agency command, control and coordination during disasters, developing joint-working initiatives, and for integrating the responses of local communities and voluntary sector with that of the official emergency responding services. David has also worked to develop collaborations and ‘exchanges of experts’ with other European countries also facing the challenges of managing emergency mass evacuations.
Working with Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, and Fire Service colleagues in the UK and USA, he also helped significantly enhance the UK’s flood rescue capability. Since 2016 David has regularly lectured on process management on the MSc courses at UoM, delivers an annual simulation exercise for the MSc International Disaster Management, and participated in the 2019 International Peer Review of Spontaneous Volunteer Policy in Chile.
My work investigates the cultural-political conditions that shape the emergence and unfolding of crises and inform the practices developed to govern them.
On this project, then, I’m interested in expanding our collective understanding of how the consequences of covid-19 have re-enforced, exacerbated and manifested in renewed form myriad processes that have affected life in recent times including austerity and the minimisation of state resources, new forms of racism, anti-expert political agendas and uneven access to new infrastructure. In so doing, my hope for the project is to develop forms of societal renewal and repair that attend to such phenomena to ensure that we rebuild the world in a way that, on many registers, bears little resemblance to that which existed before the pandemic.
Mandy Turner is Professor of Conflict, Peace and Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Director of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at the University of Manchester. Before joining the HCRI in 2020, she was the director of a British Academy research centre in East Jerusalem. Her research focuses on development and aid in war-torn societies, and she is a specialist on the Israel-Palestine conflict. She has conducted research for the UN and several governments on issues related to the conflict-development nexus and post-conflict peacebuilding. Her involvement in the Recovery, Renewal and Resilience Project is largely concentrated on working with the Municipality of Ramallah in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Dr Simos Chari is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing Management & Strategy at Alliance Manchester Business School. Dr Chari’s primary research falls in the general fields of strategy formulation and implementation. In effect Dr Chari’s work concentrates on marketing strategy as process (i.e., how to formulate effective strategies) and practice (i.e., strategy change and renewal, organizational capacity for change, and performance implications). Dr Chari’s research has been accepted for publication in renowned academic journals such as: Journal of Academy of Marketing Science, British Journal of Management, Journal of World Business, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Business Research, Industrial Marketing Management, among others.
Alan Boyd has been a researcher at Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) since 2003. He conducts research into the regulation, governance and improvement of public services, focusing particularly on healthcare. This has included a scoping study of research on emergency planning in health care - see https://doi.org/10.1057/hs.2013.15 . Alan also has expertise in evaluation and evaluation capacity strengthening. Prior to joining AMBS Alan worked for over 15 years supporting the planning of health and social care services, in a variety of organisational settings.
Judy Scully is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, University of Manchester and Visiting Research Fellow at Aston Business School, Aston University. She has a PhD from the University of Warwick. Her areas of research expertise include: Emergency Preparedness and Resilience, Health Service Management and User Engagement, SHRM and Innovation in the Public Sector, SMEs, Innovation and Productivity. Other large scale Economic and Social Research Council funded research grants that she has been a research investigator and published on include: Productivity from Below; Creative Credits; The NHS National Staff Survey; EREBUS (Engaging Research for Business Transformation) and INDEX (Innovation Delivers Expansion). She has also managed research including: Public & Patient Involvement in Health; 2004 -2005(PI) HR Audit system for Health Service Managers; 2005-2006 (PI) Evaluating Patient Choice; 2004 -2006(PI) Barriers and Opportunities to working with Small Medium Enterprise;2004-2005 Reward and Recognition in Customer Service; 2004 -5 GP and GP Practice Staff Pilot Survey; 2003-4 Evaluating the Certificate of Community Volunteering for Patient Representatives; 2002-2003 (PI) The Link between Staff and Patient Satisfaction;2001 – 2004 NHS Occupational Benevolent Fund Feasibility Study; 2003 – 2005 (PI) Staff involvement and organisational performance in the NHS; 1999-2001 Effective teamwork in Breast Cancer Services; 1999-2001 Link between People Management and Organisational Performance in the NHS.
Dr. Jenny Moreno is Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Concepcion, Chile. Her research focuses on community resilience following disasters in the context of developing countries. For the past five years, Jenny has been working with national and local governments, academia, and civil society to provide support in disaster planning and recovery including community resilience in Chile and Argentina. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Science Research Methodology (2016, University of Nottingham) and is an advisor and member of the Chilean Mirror Committee ISO/TC 292 Security and resilience for the National Standards Body (INN).
Lecturer of management studies and operational disaster management. Ayham holds a PhD in business and management (operations management) from Alliance Manchester Business School and MSc in management for business excellence from the University of Warwick.
Ayham's experience covers diverse posts and sectors such as quality management, HR, and change management in the not-for-profit and commercial sectors. His latest research aims at enhancing the resilience, agility and viability of systems during emergencies in the context of managing spontaneous volunteers during disasters. Ayham's research interests involve enhancing systems’ resilience and agility using soft operation methodologies (VSM and SSM), complexity management, change management, and systems thinking.
Szymon is a Research Associate currently working on the COVID-19 Recovery, Renewal and Resilience project. His research interests focus on the growing social complexity in disaster context, reflected but not limited to issues around: migration, diversity, race, vulnerability, resilience, climate change, displacement, Anthropocene mobility. Previously he worked as a Regional Policy and Liaison Intern at the IOM Regional Office in Vienna and JSPS Visiting Research Fellow at University of Toyama. Szymon received his Double MA in International Relations from the Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University, University of Potsdam and the MGIMO Moscow (2014). His ESRC-funded PhD research based at the University of Birmingham looked at the role of migration and diversity in building disaster resilience in the UK (Birmingham) and Japan (Toyama).
Dr Ilma Nur Chowdhury is a Lecturer in Marketing at AMBS and the Associate Head for Social Responsibility and Engagement in the Management Sciences and Marketing division. Ilma is also a member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee, working towards enhancing gender and race equalities within AMBS. Ilma conducts research on bottom of the pyramid markets, customer vulnerability and sustainability in supply chains, and is passionate about research on the reduction of inequalities, alleviation of poverty and enhancement of living standards through services marketing and management practices. She has recently been awarded EPSRC seed corn funding to explore digital service provision for UK refugees.
Andrew is a Research Associate with diverse interests in the public policy challenges confronting places experiencing or emerging from crisis and conflict.
Prior to joining the Recovery, Renewal, and Resilience from COVID-19 project team, Andrew worked as a postdoc at the University of Liverpool (2018 -2020) where he coordinated and edited a series of COVID-19 Policy Briefs focused on the Liverpool City Region. Andrew obtained his PhD from Ulster University in 2014 where he investigated the destruction of the historic urban landscape of Belfast during the Troubles. He also completed an MA in Town and Country Planning from the University of the West of England, Bristol (2008).
Gemma’s broad research agenda explores the everyday lived experiences of disaster recovery among marginalised groups. She is particularly interested in exploring how refugees perceive, experience and respond to covid19 when living in “global north” cities.
Magda’s general research interest is in the field of marketing strategy and the role it plays in addressing global societal challenges. Her current work focuses on discovering strategies to improve the performance of micro-entrepreneurs (self-employed and businesses with less than 5 employees) operating in emerging and subsistence markets. Magda’s main focus in the Recovery, Renewal and Resilience project is to understand how the pandemic has affected micro-businesses and self-employed across the UK. While the news often reports the negative impact the pandemic had on the economy, Magda is interested to explore the coping mechanisms and opportunities businesses managed to harvest during the pandemic.
Dr Billy Tusker Haworth is a geographer, Lecturer in Disaster Management, and representative for equality, diversity and inclusion at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI), University of Manchester. Billy’s research and teaching expertise are uniquely positioned at the intersection of critical human geography, geographic information science (GIS), and international disaster studies. Their main research areas include critical and participatory GIS, disaster vulnerability, LGBTIQ+ marginality, and graffiti in spaces of conflict/peace. During COVID-19, Billy has conducted research into the experiences of LGBTIQ+ people in the UK and Brazil, with implications for more inclusive crisis response strategies and future risk reduction.
Prior to joining the Recovery, Renewal and Resilience from COVID-19 project team, Tom studied for a BEng in Aerospace Engineering and an MSc in International Disaster Management at Manchester. His masters project was on the application of neural networks to conflict forecasting.
Local Resilience partners for Recovery and Renewal
Working with partners in Essex to support the thinking and planning of the Strategic Recovery Coordination Group. We have been working in the Volunteering Tactical Coordination Group to support the governance around volunteer deployment since the start of the crisis.
Supporting local resilience partners across Thames Valley including work in the initial Strategic Recovery Coordination Group and working at the tactical level via its Community Hubs Working Group where volunteers have been supporting shielded groups. We will be working more in organisations in Thames Valley including in Buckinghamshire and in Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.
Collaborating with local resilience partners in the Strategic Recovery and Renewal Group. We are working with Bath to understand the implications of COVID-19 on tourism and heritage activities.
Observing how resilience partners in Greater Manchester develop strategic Recovery plans through their Recovery Coordination Group. Learning about GM’s approach to developing, implementing, and monitoring the delivery of Recovery plans.
Working with a range of community organisations in Clydesdale, South Lanarkshire, to understand how their community groups think about their futures in the aftermath of COVID-19. Organisations include:
Blackwood and Kirkmuirhill Resilience Group
Lanark Community Development Trust
Biggar Community Action Group
Working with resilience managers in the city of Vancouver to support their development of a Recovery planning framework based on ISO 22393 ‘Guidelines for planning Recovery and Renewal’.
Resilient Cities Network is the world’s leading urban resilience network. We bring together global knowledge, practice, partnerships, and funding to empower our members to build safe and equitable cities for all.
Global Director, Engagement & Knowledge Europe & Middle East, Resilient Cities Network
Lina leads the resilience practice in Europe and the Middle East for the Resilient Cities Network. She is also responsible for the organization’s global governance, city engagement and knowledge. Before joining R-Cities, Lina was Deputy Mayor and Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Thessaloniki, Greece. As Deputy Mayor, she initiated collaborations with the European Commission, the EIB and The World Bank. Prior to this, Lina was Chief Executive of the Metropolitan Development Agency of Thessaloniki, an inter-municipal company that coordinates national and international research projects. Lina was trained as an architect and urban designer at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London.
Senior Manager, Engagement & Programs, Resilient Cities Network
Based in London, Femke is a Senior Manager in Engagement and Knowledge at the Resilient Cities Network. She has a background in urban development and climate adaptation, with a focus on capacity building within local governments. Femke brings insights from over five years’ experience in the not-for-profit and private sectors across Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and North America. She holds a first-class honours degree from the London School of Economics.
Ramallah, a key Palestinian city located approximately 16km north of Jerusalem in the West Bank in Palestine. The total area of Ramallah is of 18600 km2 in which lives 70000 inhabitants out of 370000 people living in the whole governorate of Ramallah & Al-Bireh. The city is known for its vibrant life full of cultural and art activities and its very heterogeneous population forming a diverse young cultural cosmopolitan city. Ramallah also has an increasingly international outlook with formal connections with more than 30 cities from all over the globe.
Chief Resilience Officer and City Director
Ahmed AbuLaban has been Ramallah City Director since 2006. Since 2018, he has held the role of Executive CRO to lead the implementation of Ramallah’s first Resilience Strategy. Ahmed came to these roles with a strong administrative background. He was Executive Director for the First Ramallah Group, before joining Ramallah Municipality in 1999 as the Administrative Director. In addition to his extensive roles in local government, Ahmed is also committed to volunteer work and social activism. Ahmed is a certified City Manager within the ICMA, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Birzeit University. He was a Fellow of the Humphrey Fellowship Program at the Humphrey School of Public Administration at the University of Minnesota in 2004–2005.
Deputy Chief Resilience Officer
Nadine acts as Deputy Chief Resilience Officer at Ramallah City since 2017, she supports the city in the development and implementation of urban resilience and sustainable development plans. She completed a master’s degree in Competitiveness and Innovation from Deusto University/Spain, which allowed her to undertake a consulting role in digitization and business development. Nadine’s interests extend from urban resilience and good governance to supporting the innovation eco-system. Nadine is a graduate of Founder Institute/Silicon Valley and takes an active role in entrepreneurial platforms.
Following the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, Ramallah became the temporary seat of the Government of the State of Palestine, thus witnessing a rapid growth where only in 7 years the city doubled its built area. The rapid growth formed a challenge for the municipality to upgrade its infrastructure to fit its built landscape.
As Palestinian territories still remain under Israeli Occupation, Ramallah has no control over its natural resources despite its rich water resources. Nevertheless the Municipality has managed to rise past obstacles to become the first Palestinian Smart City in 2017 and was one among the first three Arab countries to join Global Resilient Cities Network to become the first Palestinian city to develop a comprehensive urban resilient strategy. Today the Municipality offers its services in 7 different domains and according to its vision strives to become everyday closer to an “optimistic, sustainable, inclusive city, proud of its own culture and in control of its own destiny”
Resilience Stories about Ramallah:
November 2017: Ramallah released its first ever urban resilience strategy
September - 2018 Ramallah Partnered with British Council to develop the city’s framework for resilience through Culture and Education
January 2018-2020: Ramallah partnering with Erasmus+: Competence Centre for Smart Grid Applications and Technologies – sGAT
To enhance Palestinian competencies in the "Smart Grids" by building strategic and sustainable partnerships between the academic community, the local government, and the energy sector in partner countries, to support cities in transforming into smart cities, while linking education with the labour market.
15-18 April 2019: Ramallah hosts UCLG-MEWA’s Committee on Environment, and Committee on Development Cooperation and City Diplomacy meetings
The meetings aimed at exchanging experience about resilient and sustainable actions to combat climate change and to localize the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
30 October 2019: City of Music
Ramallah joins UNESCO’s ‘Creative Cities Network’ for sustainable development, in the field of music.
Ramallah strives to build resilience by catalyzing on its cultural and heritage assets, which is clearly identified in its Resilience Vision:” We are optimistic, sustainable, inclusive, proud of our own culture, and in control of our own destiny”.
January 2021: Ramallah partnering with Erasmus+2: e-Academy to support Smart Cities Operations in Palestine
Reducing unemployment by building the capacity and enhance human skills of Palestinian academics, fresh graduates, and technicians to support the establishment and operations of smart cities in Palestine. The Project will focus on three fields that are considered enablers for smart cities; IT Security, Telecoms and Computer Networks, and Smart Grid.
January 2021-2022: Towards a Green City
Ramallah Municipality will launch the “Green Ramallah Project” with the aim of bringing the city towards sustainable urban development that complies with the city’s Resilience Strategy 2050. The strategy calls for reducing dependency on others for resources and mobility, develop comprehensive citywide environmental resource strategies for Energy, Water and Waste, and to work towards becoming a smart, integrated, healthy and environmentally friendly city.
September 2021: Ramallah to release its first local Inclusion Policy
A local policy that will set out the linkages between the Ramallah Resilience Strategy, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the principles of inclusion across the city.
71,880 as of June 2020
Boris Sáez, Civil Engineer, creator, and head of the first Municipal Disaster Risk Management Department in Talcahuano, Chile. After the 2010 Chile earthquake and tsunami he created the Education Model for disaster risk reduction which has been applied in several schools. He has trained in Japan in strategies for disaster risk reduction at the University of Kobe, SEED ASIA, and the Kobe International Center for Cooperation and Communication (KIC). Boris is author of several publications, including local and national policies related to prevention, response, recovery, and resilience to disasters. He is member of national expert committees and a leader of international cooperation projects related to disaster risk reduction.
Collaborating on delivering a webinar series on business continuity management – focusing on how organisations have been able to respond to the crisis as well as prepare for the future and the role of ISO 22301 ‘Business Continuity Management’ in that. We are working through BSi to develop ISO 22393 ‘Guidelines for planning Recovery and Renewal’ as the nominating national standards body.
Leading Working Group 5 on Community Resilience of Technical Committee 292 on Security and Resilience. We are leading the development of the ISO 22393 ‘Guidelines for planning Recovery and Renewal’.
We have collaborated in delivering a UK local government webinar series on volunteers and local resilience during COVID-19.
Worked in partnership to deliver the annual Emergency Planning Society Annual Conference during the height of the pandemic. We have collaborated on numerous webinars and thinking about Recovery and Renewal planning.
Collaborating on an international webinar series on planning protocols for Recovery and Renewal.
Participating in roundtable discussions related to grassroots crisis Response, Recovery and Renewal.
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