After 3 years of research on the impact evaluation of Habitat for Humanity's Puerto Rico Recovery Program, PR PASS Workshop has been invited to present their findings at several conferences. This next March 27, 2024, Dr. Laura Gorbea, Lead External Evaluator for the program has proposed to create an immersive experience for practitioners and researchers who work with or are interested in disaster and recovery entitled "Advancing Equitable Disaster Recovery: Voice from the FIeld". The 90 minute panel session will include 3 presentations with multimedia elements, music and a showcase of the tools and products of a community-driven evaluation. 

Many conferences we come across now, are interested in "listening to new voices",  "collaborative processes" and "community engagement in research". At PR PASS Workshop we have many examples on these subject matters and reflection on post-disaster recovery. The challenge is funding a truly representative and immersive experience that enables a better understanding of how collaborative processes that recognize and incorporate different sources of knowledge can be structured and provide rigorous results. With the help of private donors we can do this!

Learn more about our proposal for this upcoming conference:

Advancing Equitable Disaster Recovery: Voices from the field

It has been six years since Hurricane María and yet only 23% of the $79.3B disaster funds have been disbursed. In the context of widespread practices that exclude many of the most vulnerable from accessing disaster recovery funds, those who live and work in Puerto Rico know there is still much work to be done. This panel brings together stakeholders engaged in a private disaster recovery program. At different points in time, they each asked, “am I helping advance a more equitable disaster recovery? What can I do?”

  • Abandoned Homes and Disconnected Lines: Challenges in mapping recovery and learning

    Authors: Stephanie Martínez, Myriam Miranda, Damary Pagán, and Laura Gorbea 
    Given the task of mapping the path to communities in need, a geographer recounts her process as she sets out to discover the need that often rendered invisible by census data. The presentation analyzes the benefits and limitations of using different sources of data and how these can be cross-referenced to identify the next community where houses can be repaired. However, once the community is identified, new challenges arise. Undeterred, the team continued to advance recovery with equity and inclusion. Solutions and approaches to advancing equitable recovery are shared. 

  •  “Mi Casa es su casa,” The role of story-telling in equitable disaster recovery

    Authors: Myriam Miranda, James O’Malley, Dévora Colón, Frank Aquino, Kellys Cirino and Laura Gorbea
    Everyone has a story to tell. In this case, Myriam’s story, illustrates how a program participant’s role evolves from beneficiary and storyteller to leader in the cogeneration of knowledge about equitable recovery. In the end, Myriam’s home and her relationship to disaster research are transformed. What enticed her to “share her story”? How was her interest and participation sustained over 2 years? Myriam’s journey was shared by others join her in reflecting on the impact and benefit of using stories in techniques such as Most Significant Change, Outcomes Harvesting, and the Impact Evaluation to advanced equitable recovery and learning.

  • The transformative power of a “Fiesta de datos” in learning about disaster recovery

    Authors: Laura Gorbea, Myriam Miranda, Héctor Crespo, Damary Pagán, Frank Aquino, Julie Solomon and James O’Malley
    Is it ok to talk about a “data party” when we are evaluating the course and impact of disaster recovery efforts? In the case at hand, during the impact evaluation of a housing focused recovery program, community collaborators gave a resounding “Yes, please!” This paper explores the concept and practical use of data parties as a participatory method that operationalizes equity and inclusion in data analysis, adds rigor and advances usability of the findings. In the case at hand, what was intended to perhaps be one data party, evolved into a circuit of events that helped transform the level of engagement across stakeholders.

Our Immersive Approach

We propose that the potential for learning will be enhanced by using a variety of media to engage the audience. Some of the presentations will include short videos to illustrate concepts discussed. Videos with subtitles will also enable us to give voice to those colleagues that could not travel. We also propose the session be framed by the collaborative mural that accompanied the team across the Island while gathering data. An exhibits of artifacts from the field is proposed as a way of making concepts more abstract to concrete. At the end of the presentations, there will be a round table discussion about the variable impacts in the short and long term of building equity into all facets of disaster recovery. Furthermore, we propose the session end, like so many of our community workshops, with a send-off ritual.