Disability inclusive disaster risk reduction with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in the Hawkesbury-Nepean region
This project was a collaboration between Infrastructure NSW (INSW), SSI, and NSW State Emergency Services (NSW SES) to deliver Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness (PCEP) workshops to CALD communities in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley. After attending training on PCEP conducted by the second author and INSW in collaboration with Penrith and Hawkesbury Local Councils in 2018, SSI management adopted the PCEP toolkit (Villeneuve et al., 2018) as a key resource for developing awareness and preparedness in CALD communities. SSI collaborated with the third and fourth authors to develop capacity in SSI-AL staff in using PCEP with the goal of leveraging the community development and engagement role of SSI-AL staff to increase personal emergency preparedness of the CALD communities they serve. Three key products were co-produced from these capacity development sessions with SSI-AL staff for engaging with their communities: 1. A PowerPoint presentation overviewing the PCEP in simple terms for CALD communities; 2. A Flyer about PCEP that directed service users to the open access, online resources; 3. An interactive discussion-based activity about preparedness, capabilities and support needs. The intent of the project was to focus on CALD communities living in the Hawkesbury-Nepean valley floodplain, including people with disability. Co-production of the PCEP workshops for this population emerged from this collaboration. Data was drawn from both the service providers and workshop attendees. In order to understand the service provider’s experience of implementing the PCEP workshops, semi structure interviews were conducted with all five SSI-AL staff. Questions related to the process undertaken to engage communities for PCEP workshops, motivations of community groups for participating, if outcomes were achieved, challenges experienced, sustainability of ongoing workshops and training needs. These interviews were analysed thematically. Workshop participant interviews and evaluation questions were related to PCEP and included preparedness for emergency and natural disasters in their area, challenges they may experience in the event of a disaster in their community, and assets and resources they could rely on/require if there is an emergency. The demographic data and workshop evaluations were analysed from tabulation of the data, and responses to open questions were analysed thematically. Co-production has proven to be a useful approach for collaborating with service providers of CALD communities to raise awareness of disaster risk reduction. SSI provided links to culturally diverse community groups and were instrumental in the planning and implementation of workshops using the PCEP tool for DIDRR. However, as part of the process of collaborating with community agencies, shortcomings in recruitment were identified.