Disaster recovery has been studied from a variety of perspectives including the fields of sociology, engineering, policy implementation, political-ecology, systems theory, geography, and urban planning, leading to a wide variety of definitions and indicators for measuring recovery. To assess what indicators can be used to measure both predisaster resilience and postdisaster recovery, an in-depth content analysis of recovery indicators in the existing literature was performed. Articles from 2000 to 2010 in four disaster-focused journals that include perspectives of engineers, social scientists, practitioners, and economists were analyzed. Articles were selected by a keyword search and analyzed for recovery indicators using an emergent coding scheme. Interestingly, many research articles never defined recovery. Recovery indicators were categorized as social, economic, environmental, and infrastructural. The indicators cited were analyzed based on the disciplinary affiliation of the author. Authors from different disciplines cited different indicators, suggesting that increased interdisciplinary collaboration may be needed. As a second step in this research, a multiround Delphi survey was used to obtain expert opinion on the recovery indicators. This process verified that the set of indicators identified through the content analysis were important and provided a rating of the importance of each indicator. Panelists also provided justifications for any ratings that differed from the median. Researchers can use these results as indicators of recovery in future studies. Similarly, practitioners will be able to use the condensed opinions of experts in the field of disaster recovery and planning.

Jordan, E. and Javernick-Will, A. (2013). “Indicators of Community Recovery: A Content Analysis and Delphi Approach.” Natural Hazards Review. 14 (1), 21-28. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)NH.1527-6996.0000087