The Center for Social Work Research
The School of Social Work
Hurricane Recovery Research Collaborative

Home

About Us

Research

Publications

Mapping and GIS

Useful Links
 


Research Projects
The Center for Social Work Research
The University of Texas at Austin

1. The Parallel Strengths and Weaknesses of the Civil Society and the State: The Example of Katrina Survivors
2. Assessment of Services, Costs, and Outcomes for Katrina Evacuees
3. Evaluation of Disaster Response Program for Lutheran Social Services
4. Evaluation of Disaster Response Program for Catholic Charities, USA

1. The Parallel Strengths and Weaknesses of the Civil Society and the State: The Example of Katrina Survivors

Sponsor: National Science Foundation (small grant for exploratory research)

Principal Investigator:
Ronald Angel, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Co-Principal Investigators:
Laura Lein, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin
Elizabeth Pomeroi, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin
Loretta Pyles, Ph.D., Tulane University

Researchers and collaborators:
Julie Beausoleil, M.Sc., The University of Texas at Austin
Holly Bell, Ph.D., The Univeristy of Texas at Austin
Johnnie Hamilton-Mason, Ph.D., Simmons College
Shanti Kulkarni, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Elizabeth Muller, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Student researchers at The University of Texas at Austin include:
Beth Bruinsma Chang, Cati Connell, Pam Malone, Megan Reid

Duration: 1/15/2006-12/31/2007

Summary:
This research examines theoretically and empirically current theories of civil society that place great confidence in the capacity of local community organizations to respond to both long and short-term social and humanitarian crises.

The disaster wrought by Hurricane Katrina made the serious weaknesses and shortcomings of many of the organizations of government and of civil society starkly apparent. This natural disaster makes clear that the devolution of services to the most local level has real limitations. The crisis provides the opportunity to better understand the complementary roles of government, civil society, and the smaller informal networks composed of relatives and friends in the response to crisis.

Project Objectives:
1. Develop new theories that elaborate ways in which non-governmental organziations (NGOs) respond to short-term crises and coordinate, or fail to coordinate, their efforts with those of governmental agencies and other NGOs; and
2. Identify the problems with which NGOs are most likely to be effective. Several questions specific to the impact of NGO activities on families in immediate crisis derive from these more general objectives.

The research team identified and contacted a diverse group of evacuees that have been followed over time. The research employs insights from various theoretical perspectives to enhance our understanding of how governmental and non-governmental agencies enhance or impede the resiliency of victims and contribute to individuals' and families' ability to deal with grief and loss and adapt to new circumstances.

2. Assessment of Services, Costs, and Outcomes for Katrina Evacuees

Sponsor: City of Austin and Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas

Principal Investigator:
Laura Lein, Ph.D.

Co-Principal Investigators:
Ronald Angel, Ph.D.
Holly Bell, Ph.D.
Project Manager: Julie Beausoleil, M.Sc.
Graduate research assistants: Catherine Connell, Terrence Hill, Jennifer Karas-Montez

Duration: 6/2/2006-5/1/2007

Summary:
The city of Austin, with additional support from the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas, undertook a research project to asses the progress evacuees are making, the impact of the case management system, and the remaining needs of evacuees. This project includes:
1. the detailed analysis of interviews with a member of each of the 1,154 evacuee households in the case management system;
2. a review of literature from Texas and other states on the social services and housing programs established for evacuees;
3. focus groups with interviews in contact with evacuees;
4. a cost assessment estimating future costs of care for Katrina evacuees; and
5. the production of a consolidated report from these efforts to be made available on a web site containing research from a number of Austin-based projects concerning evacuees.

Reports
1. Katrina evacuees in Austin, Texas: Analysis of needs data (pdf)
2. Lessons from Katrina evacuees: A digest of research by the Center for Social Work Research for the City of Austin (COA) Health and Human Services Department and the Entrepreneurs Foundation

3. Evaluation of Disaster Response Program for Lutheran Social Services

Sponsor: Lutheran Disaster Response, Katrina Aid Today National Case Management Consortium

Principal Investigator: Laura Lein, Ph.D.
Co-Principal Investigator: Holly Bell, Ph.D.

Duration: 8/15/2006-8/1/2007

4. Evaluation of Disaster Reponse Program for Catholic Charities, USA

Sponsor: Catholic Charities, USA / Katrina Aid Today National Case Management Consortium

Principal Investigator: Laura Lein, Ph.D.
Co-Principal Investigator: Holly Bell, Ph.D.

Duration: 10/1/2006-9/30/2007

Summary:
These projects are designed to elicit data from case managers and their supervisors throughout the south who were involved in providing services to evacuees from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It will illuminate the impact of disaster work on the case managers themselves; specific aspects of services that case managers perceived as working more effectively in assisting and stabilizing evacuees and those which appeared less effective; as well as the effects of their diverse working environments. This research will lead to a report designed to support the formulation of plans for meeting any future disaster.

Last Modified: February 5, 2009