Online Program

Facilitating recovery and resilience following Hurricane Sandy: Findings from an evaluation of a collaborative approach

Monday, November 2, 2015

Lindsey Realmuto, MPH, Center for Evaluation and Applied Research, The New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY
Linda Weiss, PhD, Center for Evaluation and Applied Research, The New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY
Maysoun Freij, PhD, MPH, Center for Evaluation and Applied Research, The New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY
Wendy Fleischer, NYC Housing and Neighborhood Recovery Donor Collaborative, NY
Objective: Following Hurricane Sandy, the NYC Housing and Neighborhood Recovery Donors Collaborative (the Donors Collaborative) came together as a public-private partnership and provided funding to local organizations focused on recovery and resilience in low and moderate income communities.  An evaluation was conducted, assessing process and outcomes.

Study Design: Data for the evaluation came primarily from interviews with Donors Collaborative members and grantees and from grantee reports collected three times during the project period.

Findings: Grants totaling $3,255,000 were awarded to 34 organizations working in three program areas: Building Institutional Capacity and Fostering Best Practices in Climate Resiliency; Building Social Capital for High Risk Communities and Populations; and Accelerating Deployment of Recovery Programs for Low- and Moderate-Income People.  Evaluation findings include: (1) collaboration between private donors and city agencies facilitated communication regarding gaps in public funding and city responsibilities, allowing for targeting of donor resources to address those gaps; (2) building capacity among local organizations enabled quicker and more comprehensive engagement of residents; (3) given the steep learning curve and great need, partnership among community organizations and engagement of technical assistance providers and consultants, were valued by grantees across program areas; and (4) grantees encountered significant challenges related to governmental policy and practice, which were inconsistent with the needs in an urban environment that has significant multi-family housing and multiple building types.

Conclusions: The Donors Collaborative approach to recovery from Hurricane Sandy can inform response elsewhere and points to need for policy changes related to recovery in advance of future disasters.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the evaluation findings and disseminate lessons learned from a post-disaster grant funding opportunity aimed to expedite recovery resources, build capacity, and increase resiliency in low and moderate income communities in New York City.

Keyword(s): Evaluation, Emergency Preparedness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I spent eight months developing community resiliency plans in Suffolk and Herkimer counties as part of the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program, which was formed in response to several natural disasters in New York State. Additionally, I acted as the project director for the evaluation of the NYC Housing and Neighborhood Recovery Donors Collaborative and was one of the primary contributors to the evaluation analysis and report.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.