Non-governmental organizations and community leaders in many nations confront a challenging task: designing and implementing policies, programs, and systems that assist local communities in managing a wide range of challenges from terrorism to natural catastrophes. Living in a developed country is likely to face additional challenges such as aging and overworked infrastructure, explosive threats, and the growing interconnection of global transportation and communication networks (Osei–Kyei et al., 2021). The present U.S. national security policy debate is dominated by the notion of increasing resilience to natural and artificial calamities. Even the wealthiest of communities cannot keep themselves safe from every possible threat, even if they have infinite resources at their disposal. In the U. S., for instance, food and water are delivered mostly via complex distribution systems. Fuel-powered automobiles remain the predominant mode of transportation in the United States today. Therefore, this article will discuss strategies for fostering resilience in communities and from the perspective of public administration and also present a conceptual framework for implementing resilience in public administration.
In the modern world, people and organizations structure their lives around complicated systems that they have little influence over, such as power, computer systems, and communication networks backed by remote satellites. Every one of these contemporary amenities helps communities run more smoothly and effectively. However, few individuals have alternate means of communication, power production, transportation, or a stockpile of food and water in the case of an emergency (Osei–Kyei et al., 2021). As a result, communities, people and governments, have never been more catastrophically unprepared to deal with disruptions to critical resources, public goods, and services or infrastructure. As these intricate systems of contemporary life become ever more efficient, they become less resilient because they lack diversity and redundancy. Another issue is that very few systems are built with resilience in mind. An affected community’s capacity to react to and recover from a catastrophe will be directly affected by the resilience of these systems. However, it is critical to consider all available resources when analyzing a community’s resilience.
For decades, researchers in a wide range of domains have been grappling with the idea of resilience. Scholars and practitioners continue to grapple with this issue to produce relevant homeland security policy advice and community-level evaluation tools. Much remains to be discussed how resilience and its features should be defined precisely, how resilience ideas should be implemented (Le Coze, 2019). Still, there is enough overlap in research from each area to inform what makes systems robust. When catastrophe strikes, the emphasis shifts from prevention to response and recovery. This change from prevention-only to resilience-based approaches signals a shift in thinking about dealing with disasters. It has long been held that anticipatory methods should be used to concentrate on known issues, while those focused on resilience should be utilized to deal with the unexpected. It is critical to remember that each component has flaws. In the same way that planning based on expected risks may lead to resource expenditures to prevent dangers that never materialize, planning from a wider resilience stance may need the short-term diversion of resources to assure long-term sustainability.
What is Resilience
A system’s resilience is a multifaceted term that cannot be examined from just one approach. There will always be some degree of change necessary, even whether the system returns to equilibrium or develops into a new form. The resilience system will handle the shock and adjust to a different situation by making less or more significant modifications. Also, it will be affected by how the various components of the system adapt to the changes (Profiroiu & Nastacă, 2021). As a result, several studies have been conducted to determine the most effective methods for preparing towns, regions, or nations to deal with natural catastrophes and the best ways to expand and build the economy. Thus, to construct an efficient and effective government, one must consider a wide range of internal and external influences. There is a critical role for private and governmental organizations to play in enhancing economic and social resilience.
Resilience is strongly influenced by public administration at the local, regional, and national levels. From the national level, many stakeholders are involved in reforming the public administration to build and increase public administration’s resilience up to the local level. There will have a good influence on society and the economy if the public administration is well-functioning, contemporary, and flexible. As a consequence, it became clear that public institutions needed to be more resilient and that a number of indicators was needed to help identify and quantify the factors that contribute to this kind of resilience. It is also critical to develop a theoretical framework that encompasses the major capacity factors affecting public administration’s institutional resilience
Resilience in the Context of a Local Community
Resilience is not assured only by the government, although it may be facilitated. When preparing and making plans for the future, “surprises,” one does not presume a single best set of options or resource allocations for all cultures. Also, one does not take for granted that the decisions social groupings make now will be successful in the future. Even though resilience may be built at various levels, the community is an excellent place to start.
Is there a reason why some communities can recover swiftly following an event while others suffer for years? When it comes to a community, what does it take to be resilient? When it comes to resilience, it is defined as a community’s ability to deal with a disturbance while sustaining its primary activities. Although it does not mean that it will still operate, but it will resume in certain form or another within a short period of time. Resilient communities must have both the resources they need and a means of using or reorganizing those resources to assure critical functions during and after the disruption. Measures to improve a community’s self-assessment of resilience must be highly context-specific, given that the process by which communities govern themselves differs depending on where they are located. Following an extensive assessment of resilience in several disciplines, a model can be presented that enables communities to evaluate and plan their resilience based on the robustness of their available resources and their adaptive ability to exploit these resources.
The emphasis on community resilience stems from the fact that most catastrophes are local and have varied effects on various communities. For example, a flood or earthquake would have different effects on inhabitants of Singapore compared to those in San Francisco, California. Communities in various parts of the world face different calamities, and they have varying levels of preparedness for them and diverse attitudes on how to deal with them. Societies have resources and the power to control and make choices that single people do not. Local institutions (often working in conjunction with state and national organizations) focus properly on emergency planning and response operations because of their direct engagement in catastrophe preparation and response. Rather than a “one-size-fits-all” or “top-down” strategy, a community-level emphasis on resilience results in local engagement, flexibility in the creation of resilience and ownership.
A bottom-up strategy to community resilience increases state, regional, and national resilience simultaneously since communities are part of larger systems (states, regions, and countries). To empower communities rather than encourage institutional reliance, it is essential to strengthening their ability to cope independently. While the “footprint” of a community is defined as the area from which a city draws its resources, it is also where the city disposes of garbage or where a community is dependent on the city’s economy. Typically, its footprint extends well beyond the city’s boundaries. Outside sources may disrupt community systems and have wide-ranging repercussions both within and beyond the community. For example, the source that creates and supplies electricity to an urban energy system may be situated outside the specified metropolitan region. On the other hand, a rural community may be confined to a small group of people who live in a valley or hilly area.
Like urban subsystems, rural subsystems differ in structure and relevance to the entire community’s operation. In rural settings, the family (as an institution) and religious groups may play a more dominating role than they do in urban contexts. There is generally a lot of cross-sectoral cooperation in solving similar problems in both communities and regions. Many towns are currently engaged in extensive community planning efforts. As a result, we assume that communities will develop their resilience self-assessment. We also aim to bridge the gap between human safety concerns, including catastrophes and terrorism, state-provided security, and transboundary links between private and public resources, as well as response levels inside communities and numerous planning.
Resilience and Public Administration
The world we live in is becoming more and more interconnected and complicated. There are concerns regarding the ability of governments to deal with the disruptions that arise in this situation. The concept of resilience is becoming more critical in research and public administration practice. As public administration becomes more complicated, the notion of resilience provides a viable approach, but its potential contribution has not been extensively investigated. Resilience has been widely discussed in public administration since the late 1980s, particularly in catastrophe management and preparedness and management of natural resources. ‘Efficiency’ was the dominating administrative focus until Hood took it to the ‘mainstream in the 1990s as an undervalued notion. After the terrorist attack and subsequent financial crises, public officials realized that new techniques were required to manage in an era of more unpredictability and complexity in that resilience acquired considerable popularity during this time.
Traditional approaches to risk management in public administration tend to focus on likely future adverse events, resulting in complex “blame avoidance strategies” through which public agencies attempt to minimize damage to themselves and detect blame for failure. This leads naturally to an emphasis on risk avoidance so that these adverse events are rarer (Bovaird & Quirk, 2016). However, this comes with a cost – it loses sight of the trade-o whereby risk reduction usually entails outcome reduction. A radically different approach is to accept the inevitability of some failures and to seek to embed resilience in how the overall service system works and in each of its components. In this way, the negative consequences of failure can be minimized. Moreover, the disruptive power of a competent risk culture can be achieved based on relevant rather than over-cautious approaches to risk.
Public administration is a sector with a wide range of unique challenges, shocks, stresses, and unanticipated occurrences that must be overcome. Public administration is constantly exposed to various dangers, including climate change, new illnesses, understaffing, poor budget, and insufficient resources. Public administration must continually evolve and accept change to provide high-quality services to residents and businesses or design policies for other sectors impacted by crises (Profiroiu & Nastacă, 2021). This led to a greater focus on the concept of resilience as researchers and practitioners look for new ways to better the governance process in a system that is always changing and constantly evolving. Public administration studies concentrated on notions like efficiency and equality, on the best ways to spend government resources, on giving the optimum services to residents while safeguarding marginalized groups.
However, the emphasis on public administration resilience is now on making it more flexible and adaptive in reacting to emerging threats inside and without its borders. This is reinforced by other scholars who believe that concentrating only on efficiency would leave public institutions exposed to threats. The most important question that has to be addressed in order to understand the resilience of public administration is what exactly is strengthening or weakening public institutions. Resilience, effectiveness, legitimacy have become increasingly essential attributes in public administration. It is clear from the literature that these values have a wide range of views on their significance.
Public institutions confront enormous shocks that must be dealt with simultaneously such as massive economic catastrophe. The public administration must deal with the repercussions of the Covid-19 epidemic while implementing measures that will help the economy recover from this significant shock. This situation necessitates a high degree of agility and rapid response in order to minimize the effect and repercussions. Public institutions need to be more resilient than ever because they must adapt to the requirements of the social groups impacted by the crisis.
There should be a focus on improving public administration’s institutional resilience as the first step in this context. With the proper functioning of public institutions, towns or regions may better withstand natural disasters. According to the OECD, growth and less severe recessions may be attributed to higher-quality institutions (more effective governance, a more powerful voice in the legislative process, and tighter controls on corruption) (Sánchez et al., 2017). According to this statement, public institutions have a significant effect on national economies’ ability to recover. Public institutions are essential to the growth of the economy and the well-being of society. As a result, design and operation have an impact on both economic and social development, as well as disaster preparation. Due to the current bureaucratic structure of public administration, stress on the necessity for a new strategy is important to improve public administration’s resilience.
Resilient public administration could rely on the following factors: non-hierarchical networks among public institutions; a broad variety of sources of information, including those belonging to a broad range of stakeholders; and social learning. As the author argues, public institutions should adopt a new kind of administrative structure that does not use hierarchies and instead relies on open channels of communication at all levels of management (Sánchez et al., 2017). He argues that where public authorities make choices after taking into account the viewpoints of different stakeholders, such as the private sector or non-governmental organizations (NGOs), decision-making processes may be influenced by public opinion. Other writers argued that there is ‘no one-size-fits-all’ approach to improving public administration’s institutional resilience.
Moreover, a variety of policies and options should be evaluated and implemented. In the public sector, resilience has become an essential concept. However, the public sector should also strive to be adaptive and flexible while being productive, stable, and consistent (Lordkipanidze, 2019). Public service depends on regularity and stability, but the capacity to adapt rapidly in the event of large changes or shocks is necessary. While it may appear like a massive overhaul of the administrative institutions, this procedure will eventually become ordinary, requiring much fewer modifications in the system. Additionally, the effort to build a resilient public administration will result in bureaucratic norms, long-term policies, and procedures that limit the ability of the administration to respond to changing circumstances.
OECD study has showed a relationship between traits and economic development including minimal corruption, government efficiency, and political stability. It is consistent with prior studies that demonstrated institutions that are well-functioning decrease the chance of economic shocks catastrophe (Kaplan & Akçoraoğlu, 2017). As a result, governments and the public should be concerned about strengthening public institutions to withstand shocks and stresses better. Considering that the research on public institutions’ Resilience is scarce, it is thus critical to determine the most important factors influencing their ability to recover from adversity. Considering the lack of study on public institutions’ resilience, it is crucial to identify the most significant characteristics that influence their capacity to recover from disaster.
Conceptual Framework for Developing Resilience in Public Administration
Based on this investigation, a conceptual framework has been constructed to identify the elements that influence and promote the institutional resilience of public administration. Public administration’s institutional resilience has been investigated, and a conceptual framework has been developed based on this study to identify the variables that impact and support this resilience. Public institutions need to be ready for new crises, like the one caused by the Covid-19 epidemic and its economic consequences. Using this framework, researchers may assess how prepared they are for future shocks like these and others. In addition, the framework may be used to determine the institutions’ strengths and shortcomings.
Institutional resilience may be improved by considering a collection of variables that have been found via a meta-analysis. Several quantitative or qualitative indicators are also provided for each capacity factor to help further characterize the component’s significance. It is predicted that the recommended capacity factors would have an impact on the results of public institutions’ resilience, which may be measured using variables of the well-being of residents’ happiness, social and economic development, quality of public services, effective governance, and trust in public institutions.
It is no longer necessary to maintain a stable structure in the public sector. Public administration must be altered to withstand the inevitable changes that will occur in this sector. One institution’s resilience affects the resilience of other institutions since public administration is a hierarchical structure. In light of the unique characteristics of public institutions, this framework provides the fundamental aspects that might define impact and increase institutional resilience. The research will continue to be conducted using this framework. There will be an evaluation of how well-equipped public institutions are to cope with potential shocks and the development of innovative approaches to improve their resilience in case of medical, climate change, economic crises, or cyber-security.
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