12 principles of support

Based upon the exploratory conversations with over 80 people who are playing or have played a role in disaster recovery, these themes, or support principles, came to the fore.

As a prerequisite to the principles, a common message was that organisations, leaders, funders, must understand how disaster recovery differs from usual practice. 'Business-as-usual' (BaU) does not fit the recovery context—like trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Likewise, an appreciation for the complexity, the greyness and the inherent chaos involved in recovery is crucial. Recovery is an iterative process. It evolves. Like most complex social processes—it cannot be predicted, controlled, or rigidly planned.

We need to strike from the lexicon 'business as usual'. This is our business now and the usual is what we are knowing now. Anne Leadbeater – Kinglake Ranges

If you value ordered and structured and neat, then everyone will fail in their role in recovery. Accept the fact that
recovery is messy. Don't impose firm order. Bend and flex a bit. Kate Brady – Australian Red Cross

Recovery is about taking opportunities to grow great communities following hardship. Great communities emerge on the backs of great people. It is improbable that there will ever be a better return for your efforts or people more deserving of your support.

Local staff and volunteers might not have the network and resources that delegates or managers have, but you cannot achieve without them. Keep them and keep them well. Louise Steen Kryger – IFRC PS Centre