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International Recovery Platform

Can Major Post-event Inquiries and Reviews Contribute to Lessons Management?

Significant disaster and emergency management events are invariably followed by formal post-event inquiries and reviews. Such reviews identify lessons to improve future capacities and set the agenda for policy and management reform for emergency management organisations. As a result, there is a substantial body of reflections and recommendations gathered across all hazard types and jurisdictions by formal, structured inquiry processes that contribute to lessons management for the emergency sector. However, whether there is any coherence or core lessons emerging for the Australian sector from the totality of post-event inquiries is unknown. The work reported here identifies the recommendations from these inquiries. A meta-analysis of 1336 recommendations made in 55 Australian major post-event reviews and inquiries since 2009 revealed common themes. The recommendations were compiled into a comprehensive database and categorised into 32 themes. The analysis highlighted recurrent themes from recommendations spanning multiple jurisdictions. The study indicates the potential value for Australian and New Zealand emergency management agencies and jurisdictions of using the aggregate data organised as a resource for lessons management.

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