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Measures and Metrics

Workshop: Developing a Framework for Measuring Community Resilience

September 5, 2014
National Academy of Sciences Building - Auditorium
Washington, DC 20418

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Workshop summary

The Resilient America Roundtable hosted a workshop that focused on the types of indicators that exist for measuring resilience, and which indicators communities might use and why.

Objective: Develop a framework of resilience measures/indicators that can aid communities in building a culture of resilience. The workshop was structured around three broad questions:

  • What is the value of resilience? - Develop or frame measures/indicators that help communities place a meaningful value on resilience. Value is a way by which resilience investments can be gauged and measured.
  • How do I know that my investments are going to increase my resilience? - Develop or frame measures/indicators that help communities see improvements in their resilience through time. Measuring real improvements is dependent, in part, on understanding baselines for various indicator categories and helps link investment decisions to increased resilience.
  • How can measures/indicators be scaled and adapted to different frames of reference (community to community; NGO to business; citizen to elected official; etc.)? - Understand tradeoffs among community priorities and develop or frame measures/indicators that can be applied across the community and allow decision makers to establish incentives for increasing resilience.

Welcome and Introductions
M. Granger Morgan, Chair, Resilient America Roundtable
Lauren Alexander Augustine, Director, Program on Risk, Resilience, and Extreme Events

Keynote Presentation:
Measuring Community Resilience—the Landscape of Resilience Indicators
Susan Cutter, Carolina Distinguished Professor of Geography, University of South Carolina

Panel 1: Developing Resilience Indicators and Measures: Lessons Learned

Panel of experts in decision making roles at various organizations will share perspectives in developing, applying, and analyzing resilience measures and measurement systems

Gerald Galloway, Resilient America Roundtable Member


  • Roy Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Mitigation, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Thomas de Lannoy, European Commission, Civil Protection Unit
  • Michael Szönyi, Zurich Insurance Group
  • Chuck Wemple, Chief Operations Officer, Houston-Galveston Area Council

Panel 2: Developing and Implementing Resilience Indicators and Measures at the Community Level: Lessons Applied

Panel of experts representing several U.S. communities shared their objectives and goals with regard to increasing community resilience, the measures/metrics they do use or could envision using to mark progress toward these goals, and where they face the greatest challenges in developing resilience measures.

Arrietta Chakos, Resilient America Roundtable Member


  • Sandi Fowler, Assistant City Manager—Development Services, City of Cedar Rapids
  • Clay Stamp, County Manager, Talbot County Government
  • Miriam Chion, Planning and Research Director, Association of Bay Area Governments
  • Laura Cabiness, Director, Department of Public Service, City of Charleston

This workshop is under the auspices of the Resilient America Roundtable.  Part of the Roundtable's overall goals is to convene experts from the academic, public, and private sectors to discuss and catalyze activities that build resilience to extreme events at the community, regional, national, and international levels.

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