Friday, June 21, 2013

A Lesson in Sharing

We talk about learning from the past so that we don't make the same mistakes in the future, systems are setup to help facilitate the sharing of lessons learned...but how effective are we at actually sharing?

How many of you know what is? More importantly, how many of you actually have access to it? That repository of information is an example of a body of "best practice" that sits under-utilized due to access issues. LLIS is the "Lessons Learned Information Sharing site hosted by DHS. Lessons learned do no good when they're locked away...especially when there are communities out there thirsty for information; for better or worse, the sharing of what we do needs to be done better.

Lessons tend to be shared at conferences amongst smaller groups of people who have a lot of the same experiences and knowledge base. Given the variety of individuals who are getting involved at a local level and the growth of local actors in response activities, the need to know what's working and especially what isn't, has to be pushed out on a broader scale. The folks at Occupy have created a mini-documentary chronicling what worked and didn't and I would imagine that based on the success of their operations, many will watch and try to replicate what they did when a disaster strikes in their community. By Occupy chronicling what they did, how they did it, and intentionally pushing it out to the world, they are taking a more aggressive approach to transparency then I've seen the response community do in the past. And while it may not be perfect, I imagine it will be honest, straightforward and will resonate with those would-be responders in communities preparing for the next event.

I look forward to watching the full length production from Occupy and am hopeful that it isn't a prescriptive "how to" video but more of a chronicle of their experiences for others to learn from. Either way, I think the sharing of this information is a step in the right direction and hope that it spurs conversations about how it can be done better by more people in all facets of disaster.

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