Community-led recovery | Natural Hazards Research Australia

Community-led recovery

Research theme

Learning from disasters

Project type

Commissioned research

Project status


This project is part of the Black Summer research program funded by the Commonwealth Government through the 10-year extension of funding into natural hazard research in Australia.

One of the project’s key outputs – a self-assessment tool for Community Recovery Committees – is now being trialled and tested as part of the extension project, Community led recovery: evidence, dimensions and supports for Community Recovery Committees.

Project details

Community-led approaches to disaster recovery are regarded as the optimal approach to sustainable disaster recovery, fostering self-reliance and self-determination within affected communities. However, what is less clear in the literature is how government might best foster and enable community-led recovery while maintaining their role and responsibilities in coordination after a disaster.

The objective of this research was to address this gap by examining ways in which governments can better support and enable communities to lead their own recovery after bushfire disaster events. Specifically, the following research questions were explored:

  1. How can government best support community-led deliberative decision-making processes in post-disaster bushfire recovery?
  2. How can government best leverage existing and emerging community organisations, structures, and networks in post-disaster bushfire recovery?

This project developed a set of resources to broaden the knowledge base and disseminate best practice, both within and beyond end-user organisations. Research findings from this project expand our knowledge on how community structures may modify the decision-making function of community recovery bodies (i.e., Community Recovery Committees), and shape residents’ perceptions of community recovery.

Read the final report here.