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Understanding Community Resilience: Resilience in the community response to the 14th June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London

Persson, Edward LU (2019) VBRM15 20191
Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety
Abstract
Community resilience is a highly relevant topic and the focus of much contemporary research, however it has yet to be distilled down to an exact science. The current thesis applies a theoretical framework for community resilience as an analytical lens when investigating the community response to the Grenfell fire and tragedy of 14th June 2017. Of particular interest is to uncover what community resilience entails, how it may be measured and the role of grass-roots, faith and local community organisations in fostering community resilience in post disaster situations. Examining these issues attempts to shed light on how to create and retain resilient communities, in good times and bad. In undertaking this project, first an extensive review... (More)
Community resilience is a highly relevant topic and the focus of much contemporary research, however it has yet to be distilled down to an exact science. The current thesis applies a theoretical framework for community resilience as an analytical lens when investigating the community response to the Grenfell fire and tragedy of 14th June 2017. Of particular interest is to uncover what community resilience entails, how it may be measured and the role of grass-roots, faith and local community organisations in fostering community resilience in post disaster situations. Examining these issues attempts to shed light on how to create and retain resilient communities, in good times and bad. In undertaking this project, first an extensive review of key terms was conducted through which to decide on a relevant framework. The research embraced interviews and questionnaires with a small sample of community members, and two leaders of a local community-based organisation and faith-based organisation respectively. In addition, the project reviewed a sample of 86 individual witness statements from the Grenfell Public Inquiry to understand the relevance of local actors in the response. Through analysis of the primary and secondary data gathered in this research, this report highlights which elements of community resilience are tangible and through which local organisations contribute immensely. This report also argues for the benefits of engaging with local community organisations in disaster preparedness, planning and response. Motivating the case that due to their trusted position within communities, these organisations hold crucial knowledge relevant in planning to respond and adapt to potential further disasters. They also present an opportunity for partnership to raise further awareness and promote resilience in our communities moving forward. (Less)
Popular Abstract
How communities adapt to and recover from, shocks and stresses is of importance in a current climate defined by increased disasters, manmade and natural. The ability of communities to do so is often attributed to their resilience.

Resilience as a term can be puzzling and has been used to describe numerous processes across a variety of sciences from psychology to physics. The one common understanding is that the term is used to describe a process or an ability, and not an outcome.

Community resilience is the term used in connection with how communities can maintain and self-sustain in hard times. Community resilience has many contributing factors including social cohesion, organisational support, self-reliance and so on.

This... (More)
How communities adapt to and recover from, shocks and stresses is of importance in a current climate defined by increased disasters, manmade and natural. The ability of communities to do so is often attributed to their resilience.

Resilience as a term can be puzzling and has been used to describe numerous processes across a variety of sciences from psychology to physics. The one common understanding is that the term is used to describe a process or an ability, and not an outcome.

Community resilience is the term used in connection with how communities can maintain and self-sustain in hard times. Community resilience has many contributing factors including social cohesion, organisational support, self-reliance and so on.

This thesis looks to explore the process of community resilience in shaping the community response to the Grenfell Tower disaster of the 14th June 2017, in London. It explores the presence of social capital in the community before and after the disaster and particularly focusses on the roles of community-based, faith-based, local and grass-roots organisations in supporting their community’s resilience, pre and post Grenfell.

The report sets out on an exploration of the terms community, resilience, community resilience, and social capital to highlight pre-existing work on how these are defined and measured, how they typically appear in a post-disaster situation and to develop a framework through which to investigate the case study. Importantly the report relies upon a framework that categorises community resilience into nine elements and nineteen supporting sub-elements. This framework is used to understand the contributions of local organisations to community resilience in the Grenfell case.

Conducting interviews and questionnaires with a small sample of community members and community organisation leaders, as well as a large sample of statements taken from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, the report finds that local organisations, be they community-based, faith-based or grass-roots were key in supporting resilience and they did so in fraught circumstances.

What makes their contribution special is that it is not only their actions during the disaster through which we can consider them key in supporting community resilience, but it is in their longevity and continuity of service to their community, before, during and after that positions them as crucial. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Persson, Edward LU
supervisor
organization
course
VBRM15 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
resilience, community, community resilience, social capital, post-disaster, community based organisations
language
English
id
8996605
date added to LUP
2019-10-23 11:36:58
date last changed
2019-10-23 11:36:58
@misc{8996605,
  abstract     = {Community resilience is a highly relevant topic and the focus of much contemporary research, however it has yet to be distilled down to an exact science. The current thesis applies a theoretical framework for community resilience as an analytical lens when investigating the community response to the Grenfell fire and tragedy of 14th June 2017. Of particular interest is to uncover what community resilience entails, how it may be measured and the role of grass-roots, faith and local community organisations in fostering community resilience in post disaster situations. Examining these issues attempts to shed light on how to create and retain resilient communities, in good times and bad. In undertaking this project, first an extensive review of key terms was conducted through which to decide on a relevant framework. The research embraced interviews and questionnaires with a small sample of community members, and two leaders of a local community-based organisation and faith-based organisation respectively. In addition, the project reviewed a sample of 86 individual witness statements from the Grenfell Public Inquiry to understand the relevance of local actors in the response. Through analysis of the primary and secondary data gathered in this research, this report highlights which elements of community resilience are tangible and through which local organisations contribute immensely. This report also argues for the benefits of engaging with local community organisations in disaster preparedness, planning and response. Motivating the case that due to their trusted position within communities, these organisations hold crucial knowledge relevant in planning to respond and adapt to potential further disasters. They also present an opportunity for partnership to raise further awareness and promote resilience in our communities moving forward.},
  author       = {Persson, Edward},
  keyword      = {resilience,community,community resilience,social capital,post-disaster,community based organisations},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Understanding Community Resilience: Resilience in the community response to the 14th June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London},
  year         = {2019},
}