Disaster Emergency Management Student Awarded CIHR MA Grant

Cari McIntyre, a graduate student in Royal Roads University’s Master of Arts in Disaster and Emergency Management was just awarded a CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship Masters (CGS-M) award. Cari will be working with supervisor, Dr. Robin Cox, and the ResilienceByDesign Research Lab to examine how civil society organizations and networks might foster collaborative partnerships to support disaster risk reduction (DRR) and enhance disaster resilience. Cari’s research will examine the linkages between the social determinants of health (e.g., housing, food security, access to resources and services) and the determinants of disaster resilience, vulnerability, and risk by working with a community-based health network in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. The project is grounded in a premise that the collective voices of community networks present an opportunity to overcome what has been identified as a lack of citizen engagement and investments in disaster risk reduction.
 
Cari will be working with a community-based health network in the Comox Valley to explore the question: How can a community-based health network influence local-level DRR? The goals of her research are to: (a) use social network analysis (SNA) to measure and convey the strengths, gaps, and opportunities inhered in an existing community network; (b) explore how and in what ways the network’s collaborative capacity and processes can contribute to enhancing community resilience; and (c) support opportunities for knowledge transmission
through workshops designed by the research team to introduce network partners and other stakeholders (e.g. emergency managers, community officials) to the linkages between social determinants of health and disaster risk reduction.
 
Cari’s research is uniquely positioned to build awareness of the connections between underlying vulnerabilities related to the social determinants of health and the drivers of disaster risk and community resilience. Using participatory action research and social network analysis methods, Cari hopes to further understand and convey how place-based vulnerability and resilience data might generate new knowledge to support the network by engaging community partners and stakeholders in the collaborative generation of ideas for local, strengths-based initiatives designed to address current and future capacity gaps and vulnerabilities, while simultaneously contributing to improved health and disaster outcomes.