Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Kanthie Athukorala


There is a growing recognition that by combining sustainable environmental management tactics with disaster prevention strategies, communities can reduce their risk. As a result, the first global alliance, the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR), was formed in 2008 to advocate for the mainstreaming of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (and climate change adaptation) approaches.

To support the alliance, this action research study was designed as a preliminary strategic planning process. A Human Resources Frame was used to conceptually ground the inquiry, which was aimed at answering the following research question: How can the global Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction facilitate and further support the motivations and aspirations of its members? Initially, past, current, and prospective members of PEDRR were invited to partake in a survey that modeled an Appreciative Inquiry technique. The survey asked background, Discover, Dream, Design, and Destiny focused questions. A total of 11 people responded, of which 5 also engaged in a follow-up phone interview.

From this response, a series of ten recommendations for further dialogue and specific actions for PEDRR were formulated. It is suggested that some or all of these recommendations be pursued by the group when time and resources permit. Simplistically, the recommendations were to 1) re-examine partner membership status and procedures, 2) re-examine the internal operating structure, 3) plan ahead to have in-person meetings attached to large-scale events, 4) decide on a modest fundraising strategy, 5) populate the website with relevant publications, 6) map out a plan for releasing regular publications, 7) determine what other social networking resources should be used, 8) agree on an outreach strategy, 9) determine a series of new training programs and workshops, and 10) engage in a complete strategic planning process.


Civic and Community Engagement | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Organizational Behavior and Theory | Strategic Management Policy | Sustainability