2018 SKILLS SYMPOSIUM: Community Led Recovery After Disaster, Trauma & Tragedy

  • March 01, 2018
  • March 02, 2018
  • Commons Learning Center, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 137, Austin, TX 78758
  • 17


  • For Members of AICP registering on or before December 31, 2017.
  • For members of the IAP2 Affiliates or IAP2 Federation International Associates.


This course is designed to expand understanding of meaningful community engagement with the public and community stakeholders after a disaster, traumatic event or tragedy. Emphasis is placed on empowering community to connect, envision a new future, and come together to heal, rebuild and recover. The importance of encouraging meaningful involvement of all stakeholders, especially vulnerable populations, in the planning process, and increasing skills, knowledge and capacity to host and participate in meaningful conversations is key. Focus on appropriate tools and techniques to use in conducting community engagement in recovery situations is covered. We will explore the impact of disaster, tragedy and trauma on community conflict and emotion and provide tangible tools that result in a plan and approach for moving forward.

Stephani recently wrote a blog for medium titled "Why COMMUNITY matters most in COMMUNITY RECOVERY to disaster". Here is a small highlight from her compelling article:

"I know from experience that successful recovery comes from the vision, dreams, hopes and challenges of community themselves. It is about so much more than the buildings, roads and infrastructure. It is about community choosing what their future looks like, and then acting on it with the support of agencies and groups. Not the other way around, which happens so often where agencies act, and community follows. It is about community recovery and it is more than that — it is COMMUNITY LED RECOVERY where lives, connection, social capital and vibrancy of place are built again."

PLEASE NOTE: International IAP2 members require a code to register. Please contact info@iap2.org to obtain it.

Cancellation and Substitution policy

Learning Objectives

List learning objectives below – what participants can expect to learn as a result of completing your course.

  • Participants will experience a highly participatory and experiential session that models skills, techniques and approaches they may use in the future
  • Distinguish community led recovery from community response and identify the role of the public agencies and organizations in the process
  • Build foundational understanding about disaster, tragedy or trauma impacts on individuals and communities
  • Explore methodologies and techniques that support empowering communities to affect change
  • Develop goals, objectives and priorities with impacted communities
  • Explore techniques, questions, skills, attitudes and approaches for the future
  • Build understanding, confidence and skill in using the tools and approaches

Course Agenda

Day 1
8:30 Welcome, Introduction and Reflections
  • Trainer and participant introductions
  • Session expectations and understanding what people want to achieve
  • Understanding people’s personal experience with the topic
  • Icebreaker exercise
  • Agenda review
Creating a shared meaning of community engagement and community led recovery
  • Definition of community engagement aligned across organizations
  • What does community led recovery look like?
  • What is the role of community / public in recovery process?
  • What is the role of organizations and agencies?
10:00 Morning Refreshment Break
10:15 Cont: Creating a shared meaning of community engagement and community led
  • Guiding principles for long-term recovery from disaster, trauma and tragedy
  • International best practices and effective examples
11:00 Understanding impacts of disaster, tragedy and trauma on individuals and communities
  • Disaster, tragedy and trauma situation impacts
  • Community recovery process and system
  • Helpful and harmful roles
  • Identify what is happening to people – identity, personality, emotions
  • Power dynamics
11:30 Planning to engage in a community-led recovery process
  • Levels of engagement, activities and focus
12:00 Lunch
Con’t: Planning to engage in a community-led recovery process
  • Planning steps for community engagement in recovery processes
  • Incorporating lessons learned and best practices into your work
2:00 Community identification and engagement in recovery process
  • Working within fractured and impacted social systems
  • What to do – and what not to do
  • Who to engage
  • How to find people as they scatter and retreat post disaster, tragedy or trauma
Afternoon Refreshment Break
3:30 Identifying Values and Working to Common Ground
  • Creating relationship based strategies
  • Special emphasis on low-income and marginalized populations and how to access their voice and understand needs
4:15 Closing & Reflection
  • Review of day’s learning
  • What stands out for you and what would you like to explore further tomorrow?
Day 2
8:30 Welcome back & what do we remember?
  • Reflection
  • Agenda review
  • New techniques
Continuing the planning process
  • Building community resiliency and understanding what was present before disaster, tragedy or trauma
  • How to empower communities to participate in creating and affecting change
  • The role of community leaders and networks in building grassroots engagement opportunities
  • Making progress, creating positive momentum
10:00 Morning Refreshment Break
10:15 Cont: Continuing the planning process
  • What works – and what doesn’t
  • Techniques, tools and approaches that are useful
  • Mapping the conversation – with technology and tools
11:15 Critical considerations for effective engagement
  • Listening based strategies
  • Supporting participants in constructive conversations
  • Identifying emerging conflict
  • Connecting community members and stakeholders to each other
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Pulling it all together and building a plan for moving forward
  • Pulling all the learning together into a comprehensive plan that includes community identification, approaches, goals, objectives, priorities and techniques
  • Creating an approach for community led long-term recovery and increased resilience over time
  • Documenting the plan
3:15 Afternoon Refreshment Break
3:30 Cont: Pulling it all together and building a plan for moving forward
  • What can go right and what can go wrong?
  • Peer review and feedback
4:15 Closing and Reflection
  • Reflect on the time together and gather input on what worked / what didn’t
  • Evaluation


Stephani Roy McCallum,  is a Leadership and Life Coach, Certified Professional Facilitator and a seasoned public engagement practitioner specializing in conflict, high emotion and controversy. She has worked around the globe on controversial projects, working with individuals, organizations and communities to transform conflict and create momentum for positive change. Steph was the 2008 President of IAP2, has been a licensed IAP2 Foundations trainer since 2005 and was lead developer of IAP2’s Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation course. She has a background in Sociology and indigenous peoples, and holds certificates in co-active coaching, authentic leadership, community development & alternative dispute resolution.

Kim Hyshka, has spent significant time working with impacted communities, vulnerable populations and people from all walks of life who care deeply about issues that matter most to them. Experienced in large and small-scale projects, she has facilitated community forums in large urban centers and walked pipelines with Elders in the remote wilderness. Kim has successfully worked with a variety of stakeholders including municipal governments, environmental organizations, rural landowners and Aboriginal and Metis communities. Kim regularily volunteers within the IAP2 and is a licensed IAP2 Foundations trainer and co-develops and trains Dialogue Partners’ courses.

Erin Pote, brings her background as a teacher, along with skills and experience as a facilitator on complex, emotional issues. She is a trainer and developer of Dialogue Partners’ courses and advanced training programs in Public Engagement. She has assisted in the design and delivery of countless client custom courses and regularly supports the creation of new material and exercises for these courses. She specializes in design and implementation techniques for public participation that support a shift from conflict to constructive participation. She regularly teaches courses and workshops on techniques for high emotion public participation, including photo voice and Socratic circle.

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