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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Fostering social capital and building community resilience using a neighbour-to-neighbour approach Pinette, Jennifer Marie


The international hazard management field has identified capacity building and locally-based initiatives across the Hazard Management Cycle (HMC) as central to community resilience against disasters. The extent to which the various forms of capital have been explored in this regard has been unevenly distributed in the literature. This research fills key gaps in knowledge regarding social capital. More specifically it: (1) addresses the relative lack of literature on the role of social capital in building community resilience; (2) explores how social capital can be fostered across all stages of the HMC; and (3) identifies what a community-based approach to building social capital might look like and what constraints to implementation of such an approach may exist. Through a review of literature, objectives and criteria are developed for each phase of the HMC and the advantages of a neighbour-to-neighbour (N2N) hazard management approach that fosters social capital are compared to traditional approaches. The specific activities, structure, and dynamics of the N2N approach are then explored. Through semi-structured interviews the adaptability of the N2N approach is assessed in terms of the Costa Rican context. The research finds that the N2N approach could address many of the current challenges in the hazard management field. Costa Rica, where the hazard management system is currently in flux, provides many opportunities for implementation of the N2N approach. The approach could bring many benefits and address problem areas in the current system. The research reveals that the N2N approach may be capable of fostering social capital across the HMC and addressing current gaps in the hazard management field. Implementation, in the appropriate context, appears feasible and desirable as a result of the many potential benefits it provides.

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