Research Engagement after Disasters: Research Coordination Before, During, and after the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence, New Zealand
This article argues that active coordination of research engagement after disasters has the potential to maximize research opportunities, improve research quality, increase end-user engagement, and manage escalating research activity to mitigate ethical risks posed to impacted populations. The focus is on the coordination of research activity after the 22nd February 2011 Mw6.2 Christchurch earthquake by the then newly-formed national research consortium, the Natural Hazards Research Platform, which included a social science research moratorium during the declared state of national emergency. Decisions defining this organisation’s functional and structural parameters are analyzed to identify lessons concerning the need for systematic approaches to the management of post disaster research, in collaboration with the response effort. Other lessons include the importance of involving an existing, broadly-based research consortium, ensuring that this consortium's coordination role is fully integrated into emergency management structures, and ensuring that all aspects of decision-making processes are transparent and easily accessed.