Blog > Talking with Gil Brenson-Lazan about the role of facilitators in disaster response

March 1, 2009

Anyone reading this blog over the last couple of weeks will notice a pre-occupation, of sorts, with facilitation and disaster response. This is borne partly out of the need to share what I know and believe regarding what facilitators can bring and partly due to frustration. Frustration that the authorities responsible for recovery following Victoria’s bush fires, and the media, commentators, and experts – seem to be oblivious to the important part that facilitation can play in helping communities rebuild.

So here’s the next installment – and it’s a beauty. Geoff Brown and I interviewed Gil Brenson-Lazan who has 35 years experience in this field and is a co-founder of the Global Faciltators Service Corps (GFSC).  We cover topics such as:

Gil’s experiences of disaster responses – good and bad. What happened when 26,000 people were killed in Columbia.

Why it’s important for people to participate in their own future.

Training facilitators in psycho-social recovery: personal (psycho) grieving processes and building community (social) resilience.

An aid mentality compared with a facilitative approach to disaster response.

Thinking like a facilitator.

Role of Community Fireguard in building resilient communities.

The power of participating and dialoguing instead of being ‘talked at’ by an expert.

Secondary crisis – not dealing appropriately with the loss and turning to ‘escape’ behaviours.

The problem of staying in the aid mode for too long and building dependency. The ladder of participation.

When is the right time for facilitation after a disaster?

Go here to listen (32 mins)

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