As part of a project funded by the National Science Foundation, ISTPP’s Dr. Bryce Hannibal and his colleagues, Dr. Sierra Woodruff and Matthew Malecha from the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University, are researching the ways in which organizational networks affect the integration of hazard mitigation plans. The underlying expectation is that integrated planning and response actions lead to preventive, response, and recovery measures that are more efficient and effective..
The researchers surveyed decision makers and professionals selected from key agencies and stakeholders involved with various aspects of risk mitigation planning and response pertaining to infrastructure systems. A total of 198 individuals from 109 organizations and 160 unique departments participated in the survey. By combining the participants’ responses with an analysis of disaster and hazard mitigation plans from thirteen Texas counties affected by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, the researchers mapped the extent of collaboration and gaps in the planning process. From this, they identified well-established networks among some key organizations. That is, stakeholders from organizations listed in the various plans indicated in their survey responses that they collaborated with these networks as part of their job functions. However, Hannibal, Woodruff, and Malecha also found prominent gaps—some organizations listed in the plans had little contact with other organizations identified in the plans. They will be conducting additional research to address which types of organizations tend to be on the outside of or on the inside of planning networks and where there might be opportunities for increased collaboration in developing and executing disaster and hazard mitigation plans.
Hannibal, Bryce. 2019. “The Intersection of Social and Planning Networks: A Post-Harvey Study.” Paper presented at the 13th International Academic Association of Planning, Law, and Property Rights Conference, College Station, TX, February 22. Paper coauthored with Sierra Woodruff and Matthew Malecha.