Cultural Competence for Hazards and Disaster Researchers: Framework and Training Module

Haorui Wu, Lori Peek, Mason Clay Mathews, Nicole Mattson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Although the need for cultural competence among healthcare service providers and other practitioners has long been recognized, there has been much less focus on this concept in the field of hazards and disaster research. To help fill this gap, this technical note offers a definitional framework for building cultural competence among hazards and disaster researchers and describes a training module that assists with developing such competency. Drawing on the extant literature, this article conceptualizes cultural competence in hazards and disaster research as an ongoing process that contributes to an understanding of the cultural attributes of affected individuals, households, communities, and societies that researchers are attempting to characterize. The four-step process presented here helps researchers move from cultural awareness to cultural knowledge to cultural sensitivity, and ultimately, to cultural competence. This ongoing practice requires reflexivity, respect, and humility. The time and effort involved in developing cultural competence can promote ethical research, improve the research experience for participants, enrich the quality of the data collected, and enhance the overall quality of knowledge creation and mobilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number06021005
JournalNatural Hazards Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Cultural awareness
  • Cultural competence
  • Cultural knowledge
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Hazards and disaster researchers
  • Training and education
  • Workforce development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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