Recovery that works: updated national framework and database for better program design

Disaster recovery is rarely a quick fix. It takes time and can be costly – solutions are often complex and multi-faceted. Monitoring and evaluation of our recovery programs is imperative to ensure they are effective and beneficial for communities.

The Australian Government has worked with states and territories and the Australia-New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) to develop A Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Disaster Recovery Programs – a framework to foster a more consistent approach to disaster recovery across Australian jurisdictions.

In 2018, the Australian Government launched an updated version of the framework, with a companion database developed in partnership with the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience. Used with the framework, the National Disaster Recovery Monitoring and Evaluation Database helps people developing disaster recovery programs to not only align efforts with nationally recognised outcomes, but to share our learnings nationally and avoid re-inventing the wheel.

"The Monitoring and Evaluation Framework project has been exciting to be associated with. Recovery officials will be far better able to provide advice and direction for governments of the day in the high-pressure and often emotional environment post-disaster."
Rob Cameron OAM
Director-General, Emergency Management Australia


“It has been very challenging to move from a process-driven evaluation setting to a recovery outcomes-driven setting,” said Rob Cameron OAM, Director-General of Emergency Management Australia. “The great reward, however, has been to deliver a package that enables recovery officials, nationally, to be supported by a robust framework and evidence base.”

The database also supports development of monitoring and evaluation programs for existing or new recovery programs. By inputting desired outcomes, practitioners evaluating recovery programs can extract corresponding indicators and activities of other programs from the database. This not only generates efficiency for practitioners; it supports the ongoing development of a national evidence-base for effective recovery programs. People can also search a repository of completed evaluations and reports, filtering results to identify relevant learnings.

"The national database provides a great starting point for designing recovery programs and evaluations."
Dr George Argyous
Senior Lecturer in Evidence-Based Decision-Making
Australia and New Zealand School of Government


“The national database will be a growing repository for disaster recovery evaluations so that people have easy access to the current state of knowledge,” said ANZSOG’s Dr George Argyous. “In one place, accessible to anyone, recovery workers can draw on the evidence base provided by past evaluations, to understand how outcomes were measured and more importantly what worked.”

Contributions to grow the database are encouraged via the Knowledge Hub’s contribution page.