HR&A Supports The Rockefeller Foundation’s Resilience Capacity Building



In an era in which limited public funding for infrastructure and community development meets increasing risks due to climate change and other factors, HR&A is a key strategic advisor and technical assistance partner for local, state and federal governments as they create and implement innovative strategies and initiatives to enhance their resilience. As program manager for The Rockefeller Foundation’s Capacity Building Initiative in support of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC), HR&A provided technical support as 67 cities, states, and counties that suffered presidentially-declared disasters between 2011 and 2013 prepared projects and programs to respond to a broad array of climate-related risks in an innovative manner that also addresses social, economic and environmental challenges.


The initiative included overwhelming participation in 10 “Resilience Academies” across the United States as well as other technical assistance efforts, which were supported by a network of over 150 federal agency representatives and 250 designers, engineers, scientists, professors, and other subject matter experts representing nearly 75 universities, professional firms, and non-profits. Officials including Director Shaun Donovan (OMB), Secretary Julian Castro (HUD), Judge Alice Hill (National Security Council), and John Podesta (White House) attended various convenings organized by HR&A to demonstrate their support of the initiative.


The Capacity Building Initiative generated robust outcomes toward The Rockefeller Foundation’s goals. The workshops successfully built capacity to create more resilient communities over the long term by teaching key resilience concepts, encouraging multi-agency collaboration and team-building, and connecting the applicants to subject matter experts and government agency representatives. The initiative broadened our national approach to creating resilient communities and provided support and tools to generate compelling, competitive NDRC proposals.


The Obama Administration will announce the winners of the NDRC in early 2016 from among 40 finalist jurisdictions, who submitted proposals ranging from adaptation of major infrastructure and creation of green and grey stormwater infrastructure, to housing and community development, to workforce development and social resilience programs.