Summary of the Preliminary Resilience Assessment
The Preliminary Resilience Assessment (PRA) was a snapshot of actions, perceptions, and further defined questions with respect to O‘ahu’s resilience. This moment-in-time assessment, or pulse on resilience, provided a baseline understanding of O‘ahu’s resilience strengths and weaknesses, and highlighted new learnings, insights and questions regarding risks and opportunities that warranted further examination through the Working Groups process. This first phase was an important step towards the development of a Resilience Strategy.
While stresses and past shocks overtime shape our perceptions, we also recognize that perceptions and opinions can be influenced by the news of the day. During the engagement period there were several events and releases of information that potentially informed responses collected through the engagement period, such as: the devastating 2017 Gulf of Mexico/Atlantic Ocean Hurricane season and impacts to Texas, Florida, and our island sisters and brothers in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, among other islands; heightened local tensions around possible nuclear attack and subsequent education on preparedness, as well as, the false missile alert of January 13, 2018; adoption by the Hawai‘i Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission of the Hawai‘i Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report, along with significant erosion events along the North Shore; several heavy rainfall events and brown water advisories; community discussions on large home developments and vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods; and Aloha United Way’s release of the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) report, ALICE: A Study of Financial Hardship in Hawai‘i.
All that said, more than 2,200 individuals shared their perceptions on resilience. Mahalo nui loa for these critical community contributions. Here is what was shared.
Starting in September 2017, both targeted and opportunistic engagement began to solicit individuals’ perceptions of O‘ahu-wide and community resilience matters. This effort was designed to collect, record, and analyze information about how people define and experience resilience. Perceptions inputs helped to:
Understand O‘ahu’s resilience strengths and weaknesses as perceived from diverse perspectives;
Identify and catalogue issues relevant to O‘ahu’s resilience work;
Understand where there is consensus and dissonance on resilience threats and opportunities; and,
Capture and organize a large number of stakeholder perceptions.
This work started at the June 2017 Agenda Setting Workshop, where a diverse group of more than 140 stakeholders from 19 sectors and representing 117 unique organizations engaged in facilitated exercises to tease out O‘ahu’s position relative to 100 Resilient Cities’ City Resilience Framework (CRF). Participants used the CRF to assess strengths and weaknesses across the 4 dimensions and 12 drivers. Additionally, participants were asked to prioritize the top shocks and stresses facing O‘ahu, while also considering what makes them proud.
In the months following, more than 2,200 individuals provided inputs for the perceptions assessment. The island-wide engagement effort had two main objectives: (1) introduce the new Resilience Office and discuss its charter mandate and strategies to achieve those objectives, and (2) invite input to inform the PRA toward the development of the Resilience Strategy.
An important lesson learned through the engagement process was that the success of the participation was mostly due to in-person activities to conduct the live, interactive survey. This mode accounted for greater than 70% of survey responses. This was fueled by the community’s desire to participate, and during the peak of engagement from October 2017-March 2018 it was averaged greater than 1 engagement activity per day.
Respondents informed of their top concerns with respect to shocks and stresses, as well as, what factors or actions were critical to address those concerns. Additionally, participants were asked to offer what makes them proud to be a member of the O‘ahu community. The combination of these responses were coded through the perceptions assessment tool, which informed the strategy’s main themes.
The resulting themes presented three “problem statements” and one “opportunity statement,” recognizing the need to celebrate and reinforce and identified area of strength. This social resilience will be critical for envisioning and engaging in change moving forward to implement the Resilience Strategy.