Lakhina; Shefali Juneja, Sutley Elaina J.; Wilson, Jay
“How do we actually do convergence” for disaster resilience? Cases from Australia and the United States
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This article discusses how in recent years there has been an increasing emphasis on achieving convergence in disaster research, policy, and programs to reduce disaster losses and enhance social well-being. However, there remain consider able gaps in understanding ‘‘how do we actually do convergence?’’
It presents three case studies from across geographies—New South Wales in Australia, and North Carolina and Oregon in the United States; and sec-tors of work—community, environmental, and urban resilience, to critically examine what convergence entails and how it can enable diverse disciplines, people, and institutions to reduce vulnerability to systemic risks in the twenty-first century.
The article identifies key successes, challenges, and barriers to convergence. It builds on current discussions around the need for convergence research to be problem-focused and solutions-based, by also considering the need to approach convergence as ethic, method, and outcome. It reflects on how convergence can be approached as an ethic that motivates a higher order alignment on ‘‘why’’ we come together; as a method that foregrounds ‘‘how’’ we come together in inclusive ways; and as an outcome that highlights ‘‘what’’ must be done to success-fully translate research findings into the policy and public domains.