Learnings from over 10 years of working in community recovery

Jessica Petersen’s role as the Group Welfare Manager for the Canterbury Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group has seen her engage in a number of different disaster events across Aotearoa New Zealand. One of the most significant was the 2010/11 Canterbury Earthquakes during which she held many roles as part of the recovery effort. Jessica continues to work with communities across Canterbury and within Aotearoa to build disaster resilience and has seen first-hand the ebb and flow of community resilience in response and recovery and the role that agencies have played in this.

In this interview, Jessica unpacks her many experiences and reflects on key learnings that she has noted about recovery over the years. Particularly, the challenges and opportunities that exist when operating alongside communities versus outside of them.

When reflecting on the capitals approach, Jessica muses that because recovery is such a big process it requires us to separate the capitals for operationalisation and management efficacy. However, in spite of this, Jessica argues that we still require collaboration and the breaking down of silos across these areas because “understanding the connections [between the different capitals] is where the art of recovery lies.” The diagram to the right shows some of the key connections that Jessica discusses in her interview video.


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