RAPID Collaborative Research: Identification of Key Dynamics for Optimal Distribution and Sustainable Partnership in Haitian Disaster Recovery
Jun Zhuang Principal Investigator
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This Grant for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) project will identify the key dynamics for optimal distribution and sustainable partnership in Haitian disaster recovery following the tragic 7.0 magnitude earthquake which struck just 10 miles from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on January 12th, 2010. This study will be conducted during the military troop withdrawal and the unique conditions propagated by the transition from international response to Haitian-led recovery. Observations during this time period can provide insight into many of the inter-agency problems that have plagued large-scale responses in the past. The body of knowledge on dynamic partnership formation has the potential to be greatly advanced and expanded through the identification of key characteristics in effective inter-agency partnerships and through observation of the practical utilization of these partnerships during formation and under strain.<br/><br/>Data to be collected during the Haitian visit includes insight from emergency managers and responders. Using naturalistic data collection methods, quantitative and qualitative data on the efficiency of aid acquisition, transportation, and distribution will be collected using a knowledgeable researcher embedded within an active distribution organization. By focusing on the dynamics of local-international partnerships and their efficacy, this study will identify initial results from analysis of the collected data and will motivate future studies aimed at developing accurate models for organizational dynamics, distribution locations, and transport methodology under dynamic conditions. The information gathered will provide practical and testable insight into future response operations across the United States and around the world. The recent earthquake in Chile and ongoing preparation for similar earthquake disasters (e.g. the New Madrid Seismic Zone in the US) motivate the need for the increased understanding of inter-organizational dynamics which this study can provide.