Community Engagement for Disaster Risk Reduction

Learning Environments recently collaborated with Brian Cook from the School of Geography to complete an exciting project to extend the Community Risk Reduction (CEDRR) website, allowing students to experience community engagement via field research. Launched in late 2017, the website guides the interactions between emergency services and householders to promote emergency preparedness. Based on the research-backed premise that the public respond to meaningful relationships rather than top-down instructions, it uses traditional door-knocking by VicSES and Red Cross volunteers to nurture inter-personal relationships.

Map from Community Risk Reduction website
Map from CEDRR website

As a part of a 2018 University Learning and Teaching Initiatives (LTI) grant, the existing website underwent a substantial structural overhaul to support teaching and assessment components and to enable ease of content modification. CEDRR now supports the creation of doorknocking “events”, which are formal groupings of addresses and assigned doorknockers; using this, students can be assigned to doorknock a pre-selected set of addresses whilst allowing the freedom to doorknock others to include in that event. Event coordinators can manage and monitor the progress of their event to make address-doorknocker allocations and to ensure its smooth execution. The Coordinator can download data pertaining to their event at any stage to enable critical and external analysis by students; this is particularly useful for the new Risk Management intensive subject to be launched in 2020.

A further extension introduced with the new CEDRR is “Personal Doorknocking” whereby anyone with an account on the CEDRR website can doorknock their friends, family or neighbours and keep track of which addresses they have doorknocked. The activation of this and the Events functionalities is currently pending ethics approval, which is expected later in 2019. These functionalities have been made possible by the migration of the core survey engine to Qualtrics, which provides a robust and scalable platform for CEDRR.

To enquire about current openings for LTI grants, please contact Learning Environments.