Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Frances Goldman


In many urban areas, there are multiple and overlapping layers of governments, which can be problematic for purposes of emergency operations planning for a multiple jurisdiction disaster response. The purpose of this single case study of the National Capital Region was to understand (a) the emergency operations planning collaboration process and (b) how cross-sector collaboration results in synchronized regional disaster responses. Theories of competitive federalism and cross-sector collaboration served as the basis of this study. Research questions explored how organizations collaborate; their organizational structures, processes, and practices; and how relationships between them affect collaboration. Data were collected through reviews of the National Capital Region Homeland Security Strategic Plan and the Regional Emergency Coordination Plan and interviews with 5 network members. A coding map was created to correlate interview responses to research questions and then cross-checked to provide the basis for a thick description of the evidence. The documents provided a basis for understanding how the network operated. Comparing these 2 data sources with coded transcripts and field notes substantiated the evidence. Results indicated that planning network guidance provided the structure for network participants' collaboration to facilitate planning and disaster responses. This research may contribute to positive social change by expanding emergency management network understanding of a cross-sector collaboration planning model that addresses disaster support requirements, enabling better protection of people, property, and the environment.