Abstract

To varying degrees, disaster researchers and professionals in academic institutions, policy institutes, and professional associations are actively involved with research-to-practice efforts. While each organization included in this study engaged in a unique set of activities and approaches, a number of common threads emerged from our analyses. Most organizations published their work in some way, though only subset of them emphasized publications aimed at practitioners or wider audiences. Tool development was a common activity, targeting both disaster-focused practitioners (e.g., hazard mitigation plans) and the communities they serve (e.g., GIS maps for public use, or a risk literacy curriculum for adult literacy practitioners to use with their students). Other organizations led trainings or educational events aimed at educating key community stakeholders, or hosted conferences aimed at bringing researchers and practitioners together. Several of the organizations engaged in active, community-led collaborations in which they applied research findings to develop tools that addressed a stated need (e.g., creating datasets or providing technical reports to guide evidence-based decision-making). Finally, a few organizations described how they integrated policy work into these efforts, through activities such as congressional briefings. This report presents findings from this evaluation, which are based on telephone interviews with leaders from hazard and disaster-related organizations as well as secondary data sources including center webpages and annual reports. Results from the study are presented in five major categories: (1) changes in the research-to-practice efforts over time, (2) redundancies, (3) challenges to research-to-practice efforts, (4) gaps and unmet needs, and (5) opportunities to amplify existing efforts. The evaluation team distilled a set of key themes for each category, which are summarized in the table on the following page.

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