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Cover photograph by Marcus Kauffman

Approximately 5 hours to complete

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Audio recording + long-form content

Course Overview

Resilience is a term ubiquitously used to gauge how communities fare during and following disasters. Academics and practitioners see resilience as a critical driver of a community’s success or failure in recovering or “bouncing back” from disasters. This self-study aims to provide insight into improving the concept of resilience by bridging how it is studied in theory and practiced in the field. Examination of resilience in the literature with a focus on resilience governance and social, physical, and economic resilience indicators will help frame the concepts. Academics and practitioners will provide insight into the four resilience indicators and how resilience is measured and operationalized, and identify challenges in operationalization and the way forward for resilience. The benefits of clear resilience governance frameworks rooted in diverse, equitable leadership that represents the communities served will be highlighted, as well as ways to grow each indicator. A focus on how communities can foster individual resilience, which contributes to a community’s overall resilience level, will also be examined. Finally, experts will provide insight into how the term resilience can be reconceptualized and reimagined in a way that better aligns with current-day challenges. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Provide a balance between the theory and practice of resilience. At the end of each module, students will understand definitions of resilience; the history and possible trajectory of academic and practitioner resilience work; and how resilience is operationalized.  
  • Students will be able to name the four types of resilience indicators accurately and provide an example of each after the course through quizzes. 
  • Students will be able to tie what they have learned back to the communities where they live and work through academic literature and subject matter expert interviews as examples/models of operationalized resilience. 
  • Students will be able to compare and contrast the types of resilience after learning about how the four resilience indicators are operationalized. 

Module 1: Resilience Definitions & the History of Resilience Work

About the Instructor

Jill Raycroft is a dedicated and passionate Certified Emergency Manager who supports a comprehensive and innovative, strategic and data-driven approach to emergency management and resilience work rooted in critical thinking that takes stock of the most pressing risks, not just the ones with which we have the strongest emotional attachment or familiarity. Since 2006, the bulk of her emergency management career has been spent running training and exercise programs as well as responding to emergencies and disasters in San Francisco (SF) and nationally. Jill manages the City and County of SF’s Department of Emergency Management’s Training, Exercise, and Credentialing Program and staff, and has directed and helped coordinate over 150 exercises spanning all the Emergency Support Functions and many different hazards with local, regional, state, federal, international, private sector, and non-governmental organizations. These include the nationally recognized SF Fleet Week Defense Support of Civil Authorities Exercise Program, a Bay Area regional preventive detection and consequence management radiological and nuclear training and exercise series, and a Port of SF exercise series prioritizing how to spend hundreds of millions of dollars of bond funding to enhance the Port’s resilience.   

Jill has had leadership roles in over sixty emergency and disaster responses, most recently as the Tenderloin Emergency Initiative Planning Section Chief for six months, and one and a half years in various COVID-19 leadership response roles, including Deputy Manager of the SF COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and Deputy Director of the SF COVID Command Center. Other response roles include the SF Healthy Streets Operations Center Manager during the first quarter of 2019, 2016 SF Super Bowl 50 EOC Manager and Planning Section Chief, 2012 Superstorm Sandy Deputy Planning Section Chief in the Westchester County EOC, and the 2011 SF EOC Tsunami Warning Planning Section Chief. Jill has presented cutting-edge emergency management concepts, trends, and creative ways to operationalize emergency management at twelve conferences. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Scripps College, a Master of Public Administration from San Francisco State University, and a Master of Arts in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security. 

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