Slave Lake Recovery: Whole-of-Government Disaster Response
Author: Shih-Hsuan Hung
Publication Date: 2013

The case study has been pulled together by IPAC from various sources to share learnings about cross-jurisdictional and horizontal leadership. This case study has been reviewed by Government of Alberta officials involved in the Slave Lake Recovery Task Force for inaccuracies, but is an IPAC document.

The disastrous fires in Slave Lake, Alberta in 2011 held the challenges of the immediate, life-threatening situation demanding immediate action, but also the equally dangerous community-threatening aftermath of rebuilding. The way in which the Government of Alberta organized a collective public sector response is rife with many lessons. Events of this kind are common across government. This case adds to the body of knowledge on horizontal management, integrated response and single points of accountability.

This case was based on a submission to IPAC by the Alberta Government for its Leadership Award Program. It has been extensively modified by the author and updated by the Alberta Ministry.

The case is of interest to those who are interested in horizontal and vertical collaboration of governments and collaboration between governments and non-governmental agencies. It intends to illustrate, from a provincial government's point of view, the complexity in planning and implementing disaster-recovery initiatives and to encourage readers to think critically about possible tradeoffs in designing the initiatives. It points to new models of integrated responses to highly disruptive events.
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