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Wednesday, September 19 • 4:30pm - 5:00pm
The Office of the Inspector-General's Cyclone Debbie Review: Lessons for delivering value and confidence through trust and empowerment

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Iain MacKenzie (Inspector-General Emergency Management), Rowena Richardson (Inspector-General Emergency Management)

The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate how system-level evaluation can lead to tangible improvements and benefits to communities.

In March 2017, Tropical Cyclone Debbie and subsequent severe weather events resulted in the activation of all levels of Queensland's emergency management system (the System).  Strong winds, torrential rain and flooding resulted in significant damage to homes, infrastructure and agriculture, impacting many communities. The effect of Debbie across a large area of Queensland is now well documented and the vast recovery effort continues. 

The Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management (the Office) in Queensland is mandated to provide assurance to state government and the community on the effectiveness of the System. The Office reviewed how the System responded to Debbie. The review ensured that lessons were captured; common themes for improvement identified; and good practice shared system-wide.

The presentation will explore the rigorous evaluation methodology, including extensive consultation.
Sources of evidence included:
  • attendance at 23 formal debrief sessions undertaken by local, district and state disaster management groups, NGOs, state and commonwealth agencies 
  • engagement with 65 entities, reviewing policy, plans and other associated data that supports disaster management activities
  • analysis of specific data related to Debbie, e.g. Emergency Alert campaigns
  • research into good practice evidence and case studies to inform identified themes analysing previous reviews undertaken by the Office and other entities
  • a community survey was undertaken of 1200 residents in affected areas in Queensland to capture public opinion and validate findings.
The review found that the disaster management system in Queensland is well constructed, experienced and practiced and identified a range of opportunities for improvement and good practice examples. Five major themes emerge from the evaluation: planning, public information and engagement, information management, evacuation, and capability. Recommendations have been accepted by government, including the implementation of a system-wide lessons management program.

avatar for David Roberts

David Roberts

Principal Consultant, RobertsBrown
David Roberts is a self-employed consultant with wide experience over 35 years in evaluations using both qualitative and quantitative methods. David has training and experience in Anthropology, Evaluation and Community Development. In 2016, David was awarded the Ros Hurworth Prize... Read More →

avatar for Michael Shapland

Michael Shapland

Director for Interoperability and Innovation, Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management
Mike Shapland is Director for Interoperability and Innovation in the Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management in Queensland.  Before joining the Office, he worked with the Department of Emergency Services and Department of Community Safety from 2004 to 2013 in roles covering... Read More →

Wednesday September 19, 2018 4:30pm - 5:00pm AEST
Chancellor 6

Attendees (9)