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Networked resilience in rural Australia - a role for health promotion in regional responses to climate change

  • Year: 2011
  • Author: van Beurden, Eric K; Kia, Annie M; Hughes, Denise; Fuller, Jeffery D; Dietrich, Uta; Howton, Kirsty; Kavooru, Suman
  • Journal Name: Health Promotion Journal of Australia: Official Journal of Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals
  • Journal Number: Vol. 22, Special Issue
  • Country: Australia

Issues addressed: This paper provides a model for how health promotion teams might establish and support regional collaborations of organisations in a broad response to climate change that enables emergence of multiple strategies tailored to regional needs. Methods: Complex Adaptive Systems Theory (CAS) and Organisational Learning informed action to foster a Climate Change Collaboration that engaged in strategies to improve transport options, food security and energy sustainability. Social Network Analysis was used to evaluate the degree to which member organisations became networked, the evolution of key network qualities and the way the organisations were affiliated via their participation in emergent strategies. Results: Between 2005 and 2009 a highly connected network of organisations emerged and rapidly evolved to collaborate for action on climate change. There were significant improvements in network density, centralisation, clustering and reciprocity. Member organisations collaborated on a broad range of strategies. Conclusions: Reducing regional impact of climate change is complex. It requires long-term collaboration between organisations that may not usually work together. Sustain Northern Rivers provides a successful model for achieving such collaboration.

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