Calgary, AB,

City Flood Recovery Program Earns Award

The City of Calgary has won an award from the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) for work that supported 2013 flood recovery efforts.

The City has received Silver in the Association’s Facilitation Impact Awards (FIA), an initiative to acknowledge facilitation excellence in businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations. The IAF’s goal is to promote, support and advance the art and practice of professional facilitation. The City was selected from among 42 submissions from around the world and was the only Canadian municipality and one of three Canadian applicants to make the top 20.

The award recognizes the use of facilitation by the flood Recovery Operations Centre (ROC) to support the planning and implementation of recovery efforts.

Recovery planner Kathy Sokolan-Oblak said a cross-corporate team of facilitators supported subject matter experts in developing recovery plans and advancing efforts to restore infrastructure and provide programs and services to citizens. The teams have also ensured recovery efforts have incorporated resiliency to prevent or reduce risks in future events.

“The City of Calgary has been very successful in flood recovery efforts and that can be directly linked to the numerous facilitated sessions that supported recovery efforts,” said Sokolan-Oblak. “Successful facilitation enabled us to move recovery efforts along and has helped us develop and implement ongoing recovery plans and mitigation measures. By engaging citizens, partners and our staff, we not only advanced recovery, we are now better positioned to handle any future disaster, whether it’s a flood or some other type of shock or stressor.”

For the Recovery Operations Centre, facilitations had intangible benefits, including:

  • Breaking down silos and building relationships across the organization and with external partners;
  • Increasing awareness of interdependencies between several lines of business; and
  • Building corporate resilience in the knowledge and skills staff developed along the recovery journey over the past two years.

“The Facilitation Impact Awards celebrate the power of collaboration,” said Kimberly Bain, Global Chair of the IAF. “This is concrete proof that group facilitation and group process methodologies yield significant results.”

This is the first year the IAF has expanded the awards program worldwide; previous years’ awards have been granted by regions. In 2014, The City’s Cultural Transformation Project won Platinum and Calgary Transit won Gold in the Facilitation Impact Awards in the Americas Division.


Note: A photo will be added to The City of Calgary newsroom this afternoon