Title: Make no mistake: the effectiveness of the lessons-learned approach to emergency management in Canada

Authors: Adam Rostis

Addresses: Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office, Box 2581, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3N5, Canada

Abstract: The primary means of knowledge management within emergency management agencies in Canada is the lessons-learned approach; that is, the experiences gained during a disaster are collected and filtered, and the mistakes or oversights are highlighted as lessons. These lessons motivate the organisation to change or adapt to ensure that these same mistakes are not repeated. However, this approach only functions after an emergency has occurred, and only in the specific areas of response dealt with in the emergencies experienced to date. This paper will explore the validity of the lessons-learned approach to knowledge management and suggest some alternative methods of improving outcomes.

Keywords: disaster management; knowledge management; lessons learned; after-action reports; Canada; provincial emergency management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2007.013990

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2007 Vol.4 No.2, pp.197 - 210

Published online: 07 Jun 2007 *

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