Determinants of Disaster Mass Care Services Production and Impacts by Arizona Voluntary Nonprofit Organizations

The purpose of this study is to address an important research gap by assessing the scale of the nonprofit sector’s activities and capacities in the context of disaster mass care, including hosting of evacuees and continued provision of services to local communities. The strength of the proposed project lies with an integration of disciplinary perspectives of three College centers in the areas of emergency management, nonprofit leadership and social work and community health.

The overall goal of the project is to account for nonprofit organizations’ mass care services production and impact. This includes accounting for how such service production activities are coordinated with governmental and private sectors organizations and how nonprofits identify community needs in their resource allocation decisions.

This proposed project will use the National Mass Care Exercise held in Arizona in May 2018 as the study site and will employ a mixed-methods design approach integrating organizational-level survey data with in-depth qualitative interviews and observational data to gauge service production decisions and potential impacts.

Deliverables will include a project report to the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, a peer-reviewed publication, a proposal submission to the National Science Foundation’s Science of Organizations program and a public event sharing study findings with practitioners. In sum, this project represents a cross-disciplinary collaborative effort aimed at addressing a critical gap in current understanding of the critical disaster mass care contributions made by nonprofit organizations; as such it bodes well for pursuit of future external funding opportunities.


Project Period: April - September 2018
Funder: Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions