D6.3- Final societal impact report

Executive summary

This social impact assessment of the ENGAGE project provides valuable insights into its effects, highlighting both its achievements and areas for improvement. It notably provides a methodological framework to measure the societal impact of the ENGAGE project by focusing on its work packages and validation exercises.  

Findings state that the project primarily targets first responders and authorities, indirectly affecting community members. Notably, the need for targeted efforts to address vulnerable groups is emphasized, with short-term effectiveness dependent on raising risk awareness and engaging citizens. The project shows promise at the local, regional, and city levels but remains uncertain on a societal scale, while positively influencing research in crisis and disaster management. 

Furthermore, the report shows that the project’s impact extends beyond tangible outcomes like the catalogue of solutions and the knowledge platform, influencing the perspectives of practitioners and crisis professionals on citizen involvement. The project’s impact notably lies in its capacities to foster collaboration among volunteers, NGOs, and health departments, making strides in integrating civic action into national emergency plans and improving regulations. Volunteers play a crucial role, emphasizing the necessity for better organization of their roles and addressing language barriers. The project’s interest in enhancing volunteer inclusion tools enhances its social impact as the reports shows based on the self-assessment of work packages and participants in validation exercises. 

Societal resilience is deemed essential for effective disaster response, and adaptability is emphasized, exemplified in validation exercises. ENGAGE’s capacity to create interactions between civil society actors and emergency organizations is a cornerstone of its social impact. However, findings show that its long-term and society-level impact is less clear. 

The report further analyzes ENGAGE’s approach to address common biases in resilience frameworks, assessing its ability to balance responsibilities, provide a clear societal resilience approach, navigate complexity, promote equity, and drive social change. The report shows that the project aligns well with some of these criteria and allows for a beneficial social impact, focusing on shifting formal authorities and emergency organizations’ attitudes and practices toward citizen involvement, thus mitigating biases. ENGAGE also maintains its commitment to fostering social change and improving long-term impacts by transforming emergency organizations’ and authorities’ perspectives on citizen involvement.