The Role of Nongovernmental Organizations in Long-Term Human Recovery after Disaster: Reflections from Louisiana Four Years after Hurricane Katrina

The Role of Nongovernmental Organizations in Long-Term Human Recovery after Disaster: Reflections from Louisiana Four Years after Hurricane Katrina

The Role of Nongovernmental Organizations in Long-Term Human Recovery after Disaster: Reflections from Louisiana Four Years after Hurricane Katrina

The Role of Nongovernmental Organizations in Long-Term Human Recovery after Disaster: Reflections from Louisiana Four Years after Hurricane Katrina

Synopsis

Human recovery is the process of rebuilding social and daily routines and support networks that foster physical and mental health and well-being. RAND researchers conducted a facilitated discussion with Louisiana NGO leaders to capture lessons learned and challenges faced by these organizations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The subsequent lessons also serve to inform potential policy changes and future research directions.

Excerpt

Over the past four years, countless volunteers and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have provided manpower and resources to help communities respond to and recover from the impact of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Compared to previous disasters, the level of devastation and the challenges of rebuilding were far more significant for families and communities in the region. the purpose of this occasional paper is to summarize some of the lessons learned by NGOs as these organizations worked through the cycle of emergency response into a lengthy long-term recovery process that continues today. This paper also offers potential actions for federal and state agencies to support long-term human recovery, an often-overlooked element of the disaster recovery cycle. State and federal health Officials and NGOs may be interested in using this document to inform their decisions about changes to disaster policies that better define the components of and organizational roles and responsibilities in long-term human recovery.

The rand Gulf States Policy Institute and rand Health partnered with the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, the Louisiana Family Recovery Corps, and the Louisiana Association of United Ways to convene ngo leaders and give them an opportunity to share their lessons learned and ongoing challenges. This effort is consistent with the rand Corporation’s mission to respond to the hurricanes of 2005 by channeling corporate resources to support research and analysis. rand established the rand Gulf States Policy Institute to support hurricane recovery and long-term economic development in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Today, rand Gulf States provides objective analysis to federal, state, and local leaders in support of evidence-based policymaking and the well-being of individuals throughout the Gulf States region. More information about rand Gulf States can be found at www.rand.org/gulf-states/.

A profile of rand Health, abstracts of its publications, and ordering information can be found at www.rand.org/health. More information about rand is available at www.rand.org.

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