Bushfire Evaluation

A critical examination of a program or system is an invaluable tool for an agency seeking to strengthen the quality of the service being delivered and improve outcomes.

Our trained evaluators are members of the Australasian Evaluation Society. They have designed and implemented numerous quantitative and qualitative evaluations of bushfire programs, emergency warning dissemination, emergency plan implementation and community response, providing the analysis and results for agencies to improve effectiveness and decision making.

A key component of our bushfire evaluation is the development of an evaluation plan in liaison with the client. This plan outlines the intended outcomes of the evaluation, evaluation methods and activities, timing and responsibilities. The evaluation plan is then put into practice to enable effective reporting.

Some examples of our projects include:

Review of Community Bushfire Warnings in Victoria

The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission made several recommendations that referred explicitly or implicitly to improving community bushfire warnings in the State, including that the State revise its bushfire safety policy. One of the actions for the revised safety policy was to enhance the role of bushfire warnings, including providing for timely and informative advice about the predicted passage of a fire and the actions to be taken by people in areas potentially in its path. To respond to this, the Fire Services Commissioner of Victoria completed a review to gather data and evidence of best practice in order to identify and introduce improvements in this critical field to ensure the community warnings system delivers the best possible outcome to the community.

Molino Stewart was engaged to undertake this review. The purpose was to ensure that policies, systems and procedures deliver timely, accurate, meaningful and action-oriented warnings to communities that may, or are, being affected by bushfire. Molino Stewart designed a review plan in consultation with the client and conducted interviews with Incident Controllers, Information Officers and other stakeholders involved in bushfires in Victoria.  We analysed interview responses and relevant documentation in relation to the review plan and related findings to learnings about warnings from other jurisdictions and emergencies. A detailed report covering review findings, discussion of issues and achievements and suggested improvements was provided to the Fire Services Commissioner of Victoria.

Community Alert Siren Evaluation

Following the Black Saturday Bushfires, a royal commission was initiated. The commission recommended establishing a network of community alert sirens for future bushfires in high risk locations.

Molino Stewart was engaged to undertake the evaluation of the project and to assist in undertaking a trial of different siren types.

We undertook community mail outs and collated responses on the siren trials to determine the range and success of the trial. The community engagement that supported the evaluation aided in education of the community related to sirens and also helped gauge the community response and feelings with regards to alert sirens.

Molino Stewart produced an evaluation report. The spatial output from this study can be used to assess the effective range of the siren.