D2.5 Revision and update of solutions to enhance societal resilience

Executive summary


Society at large plays a crucial role in dealing with disasters and it has to be part of the preparation, response, and recovery processes of the crisis. To fully utilize the potential of society in dealing with crises, it is essential to improve the collaboration and interaction of authorities and emergency organizations with other and informal parts of society 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 members and groups of society and involve them in 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 to the public and improve their interaction with them. These solutions can be either formal or informal based on who created and used them and whether they were defined beforehand and already included in the formal response mechanisms or on the contrary, they were created or modified on the fly because of the situation. Furthermore, defining how this interaction with society is carried out and what specific purposes are achieved through this collaboration is needed to move forward toward this aim.


This deliverable aims at developing a gap analysis of already identified solutions to identify the needs and purposes not covered so far and identify new solutions to fulfil these gaps. Furthermore, a thorough description of the concepts of formal and informal solutions is provided as well as a framework for their classification. IN particular, how informal solutions can be described and characterized will be presented and a special focus will be given to citizens driven efforts. Finally, a framework that describes the formalization process of the solutions is presented.


This study has two main targets: 1) updating and completing the list of formal solutions that compose the catalogue of solutions, and 2) better understanding and further elaborating on the description of formal and informal solutions and their development. In order to do that, both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used. For the first part, statistical methods were utilized to identify existing gaps. Based on that new solutions were identified, through primary and secondary literature sources. For the second part, semi-structured interviews with emergency services personnel and citizens were conducted to gather information and build on the concepts of formal and informal solutions and their characterization.


From the gap analysis we can conclude that the purposes for enhancing citizens’ preparedness and improving communication are the ones most covered by the solutions whereas empowering citizens in the decision-making process and quick recovery are the purposes with the least solutions. Based on this gap, new solutions were identified resulting in a total of 112 formal solutions. Regarding the description of the formal and informal solutions, legal framework, the uncertainty of the situation, stakeholders, and bureaucratic delay were the aspects that the interviewees mainly identified for differentiating between formal and informal solutions.
Furthermore, the list of factors that influence the selection process of formal solutions is defined. Regarding the informal solutions, a useful definition has been for them suggested as well as a characterization to better define them. In relation to this, how the citizens should be involved in disaster management activities from the emergency managers’ and citizens’ perspectives has been described. Finally, the formalization framework composed of three elements has been defined:
informality drivers, formalization enablers, and formalization barriers.


This deliverable provides the project’s final list of formal solutions -so far- and deepens the definition and characterization of formal and informal solutions. Furthermore, it explores how contextual factors influence the selection process of a solution to be implemented. Finally, it emphasizes the potential of informal solutions for involving citizens in the disaster management process and for developing and testing future formal solutions.

Following the second conclusion, the third conclusion is related to the need of authorities and first responders to develop organised procedures for developing messages, choosing communication channels, top-down information strategies and the role of bottom-up communication.

The fourth conclusion relates to the need to consider diversity in the communication process. This should be integrated within the communication guidelines.