D2.3 Informal solutions to improve societal resilience

Executive summary

Background

Civilians play a crucial role in dealing with disasters and they have to take part in the preparation, response, and recovery processes of the crisis. To utilize in full the potential of the civilians in dealing with crises, it is essential to improve the collaboration and interaction of authorities and emergency organizations with the civilians to efficiently respond and recover from crises. For that to happen, authorities and emergency organizations set and use a group of practices, guidelines, techniques, tools, methods, etc. that help them reach the civilians and involve them in the crisis management. In this project, we use the term “solutions” to refer to this set of means that emergency responders and authorities can use and implement to reach out the civilians and improve the interaction with them. These solutions can be either formal or informal based on whether they have been defined and developed beforehand to be used in a given situation or on the contrary, they have been created on the fly because a formal solution is inexistent or not suitable to handle the given situation. This separation is further explained in the Term Definition Table and in the Methodology sections. The analysis of the collaborative interactions with civilians is also classified according to their purposes.

Goal

This deliverable aims at identifying informal solutions that emergency organizations and authorities develop and implement to improve their interaction with civilians when facing emergencies. These informal solutions are captured during the interviews and workshops that involved end-users dealing with problems in hypothetical scenarios to allow for creative and innovative solutions. These solutions were described in detail and classified based on the solution type, on the crisis phase in which they are implemented, and on the interaction purposes they contribute to. In this first step, we collected the different solutions that are already used by the endusers with the aim of afterward (in WP3) make a selection of the most promising solutions based on their effectiveness and depending on the contextual factors of each region.

Methodology

We applied two methods to capture informal solutions. Both methods – interviews and workshops – aimed at capturing information from the end-users. We made use of an end-user workshop, a KI-CoP workshop, and semi-structured interviews to capture these informal solutions. As a result, we could identify 75 solutions, some more general, others associated with the situation described in the scenarios. Seven scenarios, all related to Covid-19, were used in the workshops. Based on these specific scenarios, the end-users were asked to provide solutions they would use to handle the situations posed to them. Finally, in the semi-structured interviews with external endusers, different informal solutions used by the participants were collected. More than 50 end-users feed these solutions, the majority from interviews.

Results

In total, 75 informal solutions were obtained from these three of sources of information, 22 came from the end-user workshop, 32 from the KI-CoP workshop, and 21 from the semistructured interviews. These informal solutions were classified into different types of solutions: the majority were associated with strategies and planning (30), services to reach society (15), and awareness and training sessions (12). Regarding the interaction purposes addressed by the informal solutions, most of them were classified into three main purposes: improving knowledge and information sharing with the society (33), improving communication with the society (34) and governance and leadership practices (33). All these results are presented in the tables depicted throughout the report.

Conclusions

This deliverable identifies the informal solutions that could be adopted by authorities and emergency organizations to enhance their interaction with the society. We gathered these informal solutions from different sources and they have been classified based on the solution type, the crisis phase in which they could be implemented, and the interaction purposes they address. The distribution of solutions across purposes gives us a good idea of which solutions serve which kind of benefit and which purposes are lacking solutions. This study presents the first step in this process and in the future a more detailed analysis about in which cases these solutions are effective and in which cases they are not should be carried out to select the most promising solutions for each situation and perhaps incorporating the informal solutions in the formal set of solutions or part of recommended practices/guidelines. The results obtained with these exercises are presented in summary in the main body of the report, and in details in the Appendices. This deliverable should be used in subsequent tasks of the project, particularly in WP3. The experience we gained with the workshops will also be useful for the future workshops planned in the project.

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