LEARNING LESSONS THROUGH EXPERIENCES WITH DISASTERS: Exploring Institutional Memory-Building and the Informing of Disaster Relief in Nova Scotia and Beyond
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This thesis explores the central research question: how are lessons learned from experiences with disasters? Based on three case studies detailing Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office’s experiences responding to the Swissair flight 111 crash, Hurricane Juan, and the H1N1 virus, follow-up activities to relief efforts are analyzed and some shared ‘lessons learned’ are identified. Specific approaches to evaluating and adapting policies/projects from within the Red Cross, as well as systems for building and preserving institutional memory from within the World Bank, are also discussed. Within the general framework of a ‘capacities and vulnerabilities analysis’, an analysis of relevant literature suggests that the value placed on institutional memory-building and linking ‘lessons learned’ with context-specific ‘changes to behaviour’, will influence relief organizations’ ability to respond effectively to disasters.