Applications of Social Network Analysis for Building Community Disaster Resilience: Workshop Summary (2009)

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Sammantha L. Magsino, Rapporteur; National Research Council

Social Network Analysis (SNA) is the identification of the relationships and attributes of members, key actors, and groups that social networks comprise. The National Research Council, at the request of the Department of Homeland Security, held a two-day workshop on the use of SNA for the purpose of building community disaster resilience. The workshop, summarized in this volume, was designed to provide guidance to the DHS on a potential research agenda that would increase the effectiveness of SNA for improving community disaster resilience.

The workshop explored the state of the art in SNA and its applications in the identification, construction, and strengthening of networks within U.S. communities. Workshop participants discussed current work in SNA focused on characterizing networks; the theories, principles and research applicable to the design or strengthening of networks; the gaps in knowledge that prevent the application of SNA to the construction of networks; and research areas that could fill those gaps. Elements of a research agenda to support the design, development, and implementation of social networks for the specific purpose of strengthening community resilience against natural and human-made disasters were discussed.