Bushfire Recovery

Rapid assessment and theory of change

In January 2020, Australia faced an unprecedented national crisis, as bushfires tore through bushland and rural communities across the country. In Victoria, the area of Gippsland in the east of the state was the most affected. The protracted nature of this crisis created circumstances that had never previously been experienced by communities or government response and relief agencies.

In Australia, and internationally, disasters disproportionately impact on children and youth. Children are unlikely to have cognitive capacities and emotional maturity to effectively manage challenges from disaster, and exposure to disasters increase their risk of serious and long-term consequences for social, psychological, emotional, cognitive and physical development. For young people, crisis situations can also accelerate or even skip the transition of adolescence into adulthood.

Uniting Vic.Tas (Uniting) has a long history of service provision within East Gippsland focused on children, young people and their families. A shared interest in the rights, participation and wellbeing of children and young people in bushfire recovery efforts brought Uniting and Plan International Australia together to partner on this project.

Plan International Australia strives to advance children’s rights and equality for girls all over the world. As an independent development and humanitarian organisation, PIA work alongside children, young people, supporters and partners to tackle the root causes of the challenges facing children, especially girls. PIA also support communities affected by natural disasters or emergencies.

The resulting resources will help inform current bushfire recovery efforts and future planning for disaster preparedness including:

  1. An Executive Summary to provide an overview of key findings.
    Download Executive Summary
  2. A Rapid Assessment and mapping of the current situation for children and young people across the developmental ages in bushfire-affected communities in Victoria
    Download Rapid Assessment
    Download Appendices
  3. A Theory of Change to provide a conceptual framework to help plan and action our contribution to the immediate and longer-term recovery of children and young people 
    Download Theory of Change

We are keen to share what we have learnt and collaborate across bushfire-affected communities and related services. If you would like more information or to engage with us, please email: tracey.sheilds@vt.uniting.org or call 03 5144 9386.