Effective stakeholder communication and engagement was critical to the success of SCIRT's rebuild programme. In a post-disaster environment, the community was already under considerable stress. About 150 SCIRT construction projects at any one time within a relatively small city (population approx. 360,000) could be highly disruptive to residents, businesses and commuters.
One of SCIRT's objectives was to "be proactive and communicate face-to-face where possible". It also aimed to be "approachable". These objectives were regularly measured in community surveys.
Door-knocking was a successful way to meet these objectives and encourage positive contact between SCIRT and the community. It was particularly important in a post-disaster environment where people were coping with many stressors and their ability to process information was impaired. It was also important in communities where written communication was less effective.
Work site information days were a positive way to build relationships with the local community. The public was invited to visit the site on a set day and meet the people working there.
Work in residential, commercial and businesses areas invariably happened "behind the fences" for safety reasons. Site visit information days were proven to be an effective way for the local community to get up close to see the work and speak to the people undertaking the repairs.