Associate Professor Tanya Heikkila co-hosted a workshop on April 10-11, 2015, on collaboration for community flood response, recovery and resilience for the Colorado Collaborative Leadership Institute. The workshop was held in Boulder at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and on the University of Colorado Boulder campus.
Approximately 35 people from local governments, nonprofits, state government, universities and NCAR participated. The workshop involved 2 training sessions and 3 panels.
The training sessions included public meeting facilitation skills (how to organize a constructive meeting and what community participation means) and how to set up and build a successful collaborative effort before the next emergency.
The panels covered three topic areas:
- Flood Response and Recovery: Community Outreach and Collaboration
- Flood Recovery: Balancing Community Needs and Values
- Flood Mitigation, Resilience, and Recovery: Interagency and Inter-Jurisdictional Collaboration
The panels allowed some of the leaders from communities that were hit hardest by the 2013 floods (Evans, Lyons, Jamestown, Boulder, Estes Park) to talk about their challenges with collaboration and their lessons learned for how collaboration worked.
“One of the key takeaways for attendees was the need to plan ahead for collaboration when disasters or emergencies strike,” said Heikkila. “Communities need strong networks in place so that efforts can be effectively coordinated, including working with volunteers.”
That includes coordination among nonprofit groups so that efforts aren’t duplicated, and working with a wide range of state and federal agencies with differing jurisdictions and levels of experience in handling disasters.
“Beyond that, building resilient communities requires working on these collaborative efforts and developing long-term trust and leadership,” said Heikkila.
The Colorado Collaborative Leadership Institute is a joint initiative that includes SPA and the Buechner Institute, University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University, University of Denver and Regis University. This was the second workshop in the series; the next is planned for fall 2015 and will focus on community and county collaboration around siting industrial activities related to oil and gas development.