Review of the first project phase

swim lane diagram of INDIMA

The landscape of DRM (Disaster Risk Management) has significantly changed within the last decades. Civil Protection authorities had to deal with some state-owned enterprises, but nowadays a lot of providers of critical infrastructure and private stakeholders need to be integrated.

Developing a process to manage disasters and crisis effectively is the objective of project INDIMA, funded by the European Union. Six months of the INDIMA project (funded by the European Union) have passed, the first phase “needs assessment” and the “stakeholder analysis” has been successfully completed. With the workshops “coordination”, legal basis, and cooperation capability (interoperability), the relations between disaster management authorities and other stakeholders are examined.  European experts from disaster and crisis management are invited to contribute their valuable experience and expert knowledge.

First, we needed to identify today’s stakeholders in DRM. These can be bus operators for evacuation actions, logistic and construction companies for transport and response operations and charities, the different Red Cross bodies, and NGOs to cover the needs of the affected population.

Most of the time these activities are below the activation of the “EU Community Mechanism” but can involve Civil-Military Cooperation and sometimes also bilateral cross-border assistance.

The situation can always escalate and make a call for assistance to the EU necessary. Therefore, “Integrated Disaster Management” is a clear need for extensive interaction between many partners to cope with the challenges. This is an issue for most of the state’s CP authorities.

A two-phase study, called “State of the Art in Crisis Management” from the University of Leiden gave amongst others clear statements to improve Crisis Management. The inclusion of citizens and stakeholders was mentioned as key aspects to improve crisis management. Supported by the results of the study, we conducted a survey, that includes exactly these identified gaps. The needs assessment, the stakeholder analysis, and the upcoming INDIMA-Online Workshops will finally help to develop a network concept that integrates all relevant stakeholders in crisis management.

Our Project Partner, Hungarian Red Cross, researched the stakeholders of Disaster Risk Management of the last years and identified four basic types of organisations:

  • GO (Governmental Organisations)
  • CIO (Critical Infrastructure provider)
  • PVO (Private Volunteer Organisations)
  • PO (For-profit companies)

The results of the analysis confirmed our assumptions and gave us new valuable input and a solid database for the development of our holistic DRM concept.

Online workshop on Coordination: 80 participants, from 25 states (from Albania, Europe, Turkey, UK, and the USA) could see excellent presentations from the different views on coordination, nationally and internationally. These facts and comments are immensely helpful for the project’s development and will be analysed very carefully.

Online workshop on Legal aspects: cooperation within a regulated framework is needed to prevent and respond to major accidents and natural disasters. Laws, acts, and agreements are crucial, and they serve as a basis for effective response Within the workshop we investigate the legal aspects of international disaster relief:

  • UN and EU legislation
  • IDRL
  • Host Nation Support Guidelines
  • Bilateral agreements

Workshop on interoperability between the classic CP authorities and the new stakeholders like utilities, logistic services, telecommunication, and infrastructure services. For a disaster response operation to be effective, organisations, systems, and equipment must meet the criteria of interoperability. Interoperability frameworks are based on the appropriate exchange of information, knowledge, experience, and its use.

Interoperability can be realized in cooperation between different actors in emergency response operation when knowledge, technical background, and the understanding of the purpose of the intervention is common.

Every organization needs to know its place and role in disaster management. Cooperation between organisations operating at the same interfaces is essential.

Possible steps:

  • Identification of activities
  • Defining the level of intervention (territorial, management)
  • Research & knowledge sharing
  • Contacting related organizations
  • Assessing and developing opportunities for cooperation

The results of the three workshops will bring a tangible database of facts and figures to design the network concept for Integrated Disaster Management.

In the second phase of the project, the process and checklists for the Integrated Management of Crises and Disasters will be developed and then tested and finalized in a simulation exercise in the third phase.