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FEWSION for Community Resilience Network™ (F4R™)

The F4R Systems Network visualization graphic

Join the F4R Network™

Build Community Resilience

What F4R™ Is

Led by Northern Arizona University’s School of Informatics and Computer and Cyber Systems and the Center for Science Teaching and Learning, FEWSION for Community Resilience™ is a facilitated participatory process designed to improve community resilience and expand capacity for managing critical supply chains. F4R™ builds the capacity of communities, private organizations, engaged citizens, management professionals, and community leaders to manage their supply chains and supporting social and physical infrastructures. F4R™ helps  solve problems in resilience, environmental sustainability, emergency management, business continuity, and public communication. F4R™ complements existing processes for planning, sustainability, and resilience by adding data-driven supply chain and systems-level information.

F4R™ is a 3-6 month Process of Collaboration that Focuses on Learning, Research, and Action to Build Individual and Organizational Capacity for Resilience

F4R Learning, Research, and Action diagram


Who F4R™ is for

University InstructorsThe F4R™ curriculum is a multidisciplinary project-based course that helps upper-division or graduate students build data collection, visualization, and community engagement skills that promote real-world applications of sustainability, food, energy, and water security, emergency management, community planning, and understanding of natural-human coupled systems.
Emergency Management PractitionersF4R™ is aligned with the FEMA Supply Chain Resilience guide and 5-year planning process to improve situational awareness of supply chains that support community lifelines. F4R™ can be used to improve connections with key stakeholders, and inform planning decisions.
Non-profit Organizations and BusinessesF4R™ works with leaders from critical organizations like regional food banks and local food, energy, and water providers to leverage and visualize data to improve needs assessments, inform funders and stakeholders, demonstrate the value that an organization brings to the community, and aids in business continuity and supply chain resilience planning.
Local Government Sustainability and PlanningF4R™ provides foundational data for a city's freight infrastructure, self-sufficiency, local food, and scope I, II, and III environmental footprints to inform data-driven policy.
Engaged Citizens and Elected OfficialsBring powerful supply chain data and visual communication to bear on your community's problems through a structured facilitated process.

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Prospective Facilitator

Faculty, staff, or community leaders who would like to implement F4R™


Students, Volunteers, Interns, or Staff who would like to participate in F4R™ in their community

Learn More

F4R Curriculum textbook coverThis text is a guide for participants in the F4R™ process. It contains suggested activities and content that promote learning, research, and action focused on supply chains. It includes key references, activities, and visual intended to help promote systems thinking, collaborative problem solving, and productive discourse through engagement between and leadership by community stakeholders. It is intended for a diverse set of participants and includes material ranging from introductory to expert. See resources below, purchase the text at the Lulu Bookstore, or learn more here.

Note that if you are planning to be an F4R Facilitator/Instructor, then you will receive a copy of this text during the mandatory F4R Facilitator Training. Learn more about becoming an F4R Facilitator here.

F4R™ Community Report, including:

  • Commodity flow analysis for your community and its major organizations
  • Social network diagrams of key stakeholders
  • Supply chain dependency mapping and threat identification
  • A baseline database for your own analysis
  • Implications for emergency management, sustainability, infrastructure, and planning
  • A stewardship action plan detailing where to focus energy on change

F4R™ is designed to be an iterative process that can be completed once for baseline data or multiple times for improved and more extensive data sets. Each iteration is recommended to take 4-6 months.

Practitioners and researchers who wish to implement F4R™ must complete a training. This training includes an overview and training with curriculum content, software, tools, the F4R™ data collection model, and community engagement methods.

F4R™ scaffolds and integrates three main types of activities: Learning, Science, and Action.

Model for F4R - Learning, Science, Action

F4R™ improves citizen and staff capacity for the management of resources by implementing a Learning and community engagement process that is designed to improve literacy about local and regional FEW systems and increase and strengthen connections between private, public, and non-profit stakeholders. F4R™ Science fills an important gap by collecting and visualizing last mile and mesoscale data that can help to inform policy and planning decisions. F4R™ empowers citizens and community leaders to identify meaningful and relevant Actions informed by data-driven discussions.

Each cohort of participants has the opportunity to complete the following activities:

  • 40 hours of training and learning
  •  Open-source data collection and entry
  • Face-to-face work sessions, field experiences, and interviews with community stakeholders
  • Contribution to Stewardship Action Plans and Community Reports

Participants can be citizen scientists, students, interns, staff members, community leaders and/or FEW providers. Participants are recognized as experts of their own community and are expected to bring ideas, connections, and data to the table. Participants will explore and research personal, community, and national FEW systems, contribute to a database of local FEW providers, and identify meaningful actions and opportunities for improving resilience in their community.

Supply chains, especially critical and lifeline supply chains of communities that have large footprints and are essential components of all communities, play an important role in emergency management, community planning, sustainability, and resilience. Individual communities and localized citizen efforts have the potential to improve the understanding and management of the complex interactions between the human and natural systems of the FEW nexus. However, there are gaps in FEW data and local capacity, both technical and political, that may prevent many communities from engaging in evidence-based discussion and effective management of the complex interactions of these resources. Over a three-year period, we engaged in a collaborative model of Public Participation in Science Research (PPSR) working with citizen volunteers and FEW providers to develop and test a protocol and tools in a pilot community in the Southwest United States. We have developed a curriculum, data model, and process to initiate and support community resilience efforts in communities across the U.S.

Data Collection and Analysis

Stage 1 includes open source collection of data that includes facility names, locations, contact information, and identification of organizations and individuals linked to FEW supply chains as providers, regulators, program leaders, and policymakers. Stage 1 concludes with a preliminary analysis of supply chain data comparing publicly available data for mesoscale and last mile supply chains.

Stage 2 focuses on stakeholder engagement and identification of focus areas of last-mile data collection. F4R cohort members work to conduct interviews with the individuals and organizations identified in Stage 1. These interviews focus on confirming and improving the data collected in Stage 1 as well as creating a near-real time database of FEW provider emergency response operational capabilities.

Stage 3 focuses on data analysis and community dissemination. This includes identification of gaps in data collection, identification of gaps, vulnerabilities, and strengths in community supply chains, and identification of potential actions and next steps needed for improving resilience.

The F4R Network™ seeks to identify which companies, nonprofits, utilities, and public agencies that are providers and stakeholders in our community’s food, energy, and water systems. We are also trying to identify the major infrastructures, sources, suppliers, routes, transit modes, and distribution systems for these resources including the “last mile” where wholesale suppliers distribute resources to retail customers. This specific information provides opportunities for key stakeholders to be included in conversations about positive change.

The F4R Network™ does not solicit sensitive information or trade secrets from (a) companies, (b) private and personally identifiable information (PII) about private individuals other than those who are participating in the F4R Network™ as participants, stakeholders, or public figures, or (c) protected critical infrastructure information (PCII). Participants agree to make a reasonable effort to avoid collecting or disclosing this type of data to the F4R Network™. The data we collect in an F4R Network™ cohort is NOT CONFIDENTIAL and no promise of confidentiality or non-disclosure is offered by the F4R Network™. Data that is disclosed to the F4R Network™ becomes the property of the F4R Network™ and its institutional host Northern Arizona University (NAU). Participants and Stakeholders grant the F4R Network™ and NAU any and all rights to use, sell, or distribute any data that is disclosed to the F4R Network™.