Planning for disaster: developing a multi-agency counselling service
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Multi-agency planning is becoming increasingly important to organisations, especially those concerned with delivering services for the benefit of the community. This paper describes how a modified version of the methods from soft systems methodology (SSM), chosen through methodological reflections informed by critical systems thinking, was used to support the planning of a multi-agency counselling service that could be activated in the event of a disaster. Representatives of nineteen agencies were involved in this exercise, working together in six, one-day workshops. Feedback from participants, using four evaluation criteria (derived from the principles of SSM and the stated priorities of workshop participants), suggests that the methods of SSM, modified as described, show a great deal of promise as a support to multi-agency planning.
Keywordscommunity OR critical systems thinking disaster response health service multi-agency working process of OR soft OR soft systems methodology
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