Partners for Action (P4A) is pleased to share our research, communication, and partnership highlights with the release of our 2020 Annual Report. Read highlights of our activities from the past year and what’s ahead for Partners for Action in 2021.
Canadian Voices on Flood Risk: Gathering actionable insights from the front lines: In 2020, P4A conducted a follow up to the 2016 survey to understand how well residents in designated flood risk areas understand their risks. These included topics like property buyouts, perceived flood risk, where they think responsibility lies for flood protection and what steps they are taking to reduce risk on their own property. We published the results – as well as our recommendations – in Canadian Voices on Flood Risk 2020: Findings from a national survey about how we should manage an increasingly costly and common peril. These insights will inform the work of stakeholders across Canada, including policy makers, insurers, realtors and flood management professionals.
Responsible Retreat: Charting the best path to higher ground: In 2020, Partners for Action initiated a new line of research on effective property buyout programs, with financial support from the Max Bell Foundation and Government of Canada. Working with partner organizations across Canada, this project aimed to: generate new knowledge by critically evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of past property buyout programs in Canadian communities; engage property owners and other stakeholders to find ways to improve the efficiency, social acceptability and political viability of these programs; and equip policy makers and practitioners with evidence-based guidance about how to design and implement the best property buyout programs possible. We produced a new report – Communicating to Increase Flood Awareness and Incite Action Among Canadians – which outlines best practices for effective flood prevention outreach.
FloodSmart: Creating resilient Canadians: Developed by P4A, FloodSmartCanada.ca has become the go-to destination for flood prevention and preparedness resources. This growing online repository helps Canadians, organizations and communities prepare for floods. It offers homeowner guides, information about flood insurance and disaster assistance, floodplain maps and more. This year, we added new bilingual materials to the website, including social media kits, infographics and seasonal FloodSmart checklists develop through community pilot projects.
A Snapshot of What’s Ahead:
Tapping the Experts: A National Workshop on Managed Retreat
In 2020, we took a deep dive into what effective property buyout programs for flood management look like. In the year ahead, we’ll go even deeper. This includes hosting a national workshop on the topic, either virtually or in person depending on public health guidelines. We’ll explore best practices for program design and implementation and discuss a range of key issues – from cost-benefit considerations and land-use planning to what resources are needed to ensure managed retreat initiatives are successful in Canada.
Providing a Blueprint for Effective Property Buyout Programs
The results from that national workshop will inform P4A’s ongoing research on property buyouts, as well as the report we’ll produce for Canadian policy makers. In that report, we’ll cover considerations for initiating programs, the timing and duration of buyout programs, the partnerships and resources required, and more. It will also include recommendations on the optimal design and implementation of property buyout programs, addressing social acceptability, political viability and economic efficiency. In addition, P4A will undertake extensive engagement activities to communicate our findings and recommendations, including a national webinar for stakeholders across Canada.
Protecting Socially Vulnerable Groups across Canada
In the coming year, P4A will work with the Canadian Red Cross and other partners to develop, refine and test a social vulnerability index. This tool will help policy makers and flood management practitioners pinpoint the groups that are disproportionately impacted and develop highly targeted outreach strategies that boost awareness and encourage preparedness among Canada’s vulnerable populations. The project will also explore, through surveys and focus groups, how to best raise awareness about natural hazard risks and to encourage Canadians from vulnerable populations to prepare for these hazards.