Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

SOTERIA Report Summary

Project ID: 606796
Funded under: FP7-SECURITY
Country: Portugal

Periodic Report Summary 1 - SOTERIA (Online and Mobile Communications for Emergencies)

Project Context and Objectives:
SOTERIA aims at developing recommendations and a toolbox to leverage the positive impact that social media can play in emergencies, enabling public safety organisations (PSOs) and citizens to communicate before, during and after an emergency event. Empowered by new mobile phones with cameras, text messaging and internet-based applications connecting to social media, citizens expect PSOs to use the same technologies. The project looks at the ability of PSOs to effectively respond to emergency in the pre, during and post-event phases as well as the capacity of citizens to take an active role in the emergency response process through four dimensions (THEO approach):
• Technological: this dimension entails the integration of current ICT tools for emergencies and crises into the SOTERIA Toolbox so as to explore the real potential of mobile technologies and social media in emergencies and crises.
• Human: this dimension comprises the citizens’ perspective on the impact, acceptance and adequate employment of state-of-the-art mobile and social media communication technologies in emergencies, concerning human factor analyses, message delivery channels and message content.
• Ethical and Legal: this dimension concerns both the commitment of the SOTERIA Consortium to stand by the relevant ethical principles and legal framework when developing and ethics-by-design project approach, and the ethical and legal considerations and waivers that discussions on privacy rights and public security boundaries might bring, regarding the use of new ICT tools in emergency response efforts.
• Organisational: this dimension focus on the public safety organisations and their culture, roles, processes, competences, training and technologies to explore how social media impacts their daily activity and how to adapt these organisations to include social media in their emergency procedures and management systems, building their trust in social media platforms and thus facilitating the process of introducing the SOTERIA Prototype into the organisations’ operational processes.

The SOTERIA Prototype to be developed during the project, will comprise:
• SOTERIA Recommendations, to provide guidelines and courses of action for PSOs and citizens;
• SOTERIA Toolbox, integrating emergency-related ICT tools and functionality (e.g., social media tools and mobile applications) that offer additional communication channels between PSOs and citizens and enhance high-quality situational awareness for PSOs and citizens in emergencies.
SOTERIA shall innovate by allowing the (i) understanding of the impact that social media entails in emergency management systems; (ii) use of all communication channels in emergency situations, including social media, (iii) exploitation of the ubiquity of mobile platforms to locate and effectively communicate with citizens in distress; and (iv) leverage the levels of shared awareness and performance of PSOs, benefiting from social media information.

Project Results:
SOTERIA applies a three-phase methodology:
1. Retrospective Analysis Phase: in this phase, background knowledge for SOTERIA is consolidated, end-user needs and requirements are established and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are defined for the purpose of evaluating SOTERIA's impact.

2. Campaigns of Experimentation Phase: in this phase, SOTERIA is incorporated and tested in emergency services across several countries; these campaigns are performed in loco, extracting data and measurements from current 112 emergency services, operating without and with SOTERIA.

3. Recommendations and Dissemination Phase: in this phase, SOTERIA produces recommendations on the impact and integration of social media in emergency management systems and disseminate the results of the prototype testing.

So far, the project concluded the retrospective analysis phase and initiated the CoE phase.

A number of European countries’ 112 emergency models were analysed in depth. Hundreds of user requirements were drawn from citizens surveys, reference scenarios, end-user organizations and interviews with PSOs.
KPIs were derived from the reference scenarios (making the point clearly that the project is not evaluating the performance of the PSOs per se, but the added value that SOTERIA brings to their operations) and their implications for the THEO framework were established. The consortium organized a first workshop in Portugal with multiple end-users to discuss the requirements and to present the SOTERIA Mockup (a preliminary version of the SOTERIA Prototype).

Under the organizational pillar it was found that heterogeneity within and across jurisdictions underpins many of the findings of the initial analysis of PSOs. There are many examples of the use of online and mobile communications by PSOs in Europe, mainly for dissemination purposes that replicate the traditional media broadcasts. There is little consistency in the use of online and mobile communication technologies by PSOs.

Under the Human pillar, a classification taxonomy for emergencies was developed. This classification was validated using input from the public. A multinational survey as well as an additional survey with a German sub-sample have been conducted, also with a view towards compiling information on the perception of social media and usage behaviour of the citizen.

With respect to the ethical and legal aspects, the consortium mapped current concerns and mitigation strategies employed through case studies. Current applicable legislation was analysed to create a legal and ethical framework for the project. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFREU), the EC Directive on privacy and electronic communications (58/2002/EC) and the data protection Directive 95/46/EC were studied. The project also requested and received a Data Protection Approval for the 2015 Barents Rescue Exercise in Finland.

In the technology axis, the SOTERIA Toolbox Framework was established. This defines a Generic API based on web services which provide a standard procedure to include tools in the toolbox. Social Network connectors can be implemented and can be activated so that one could interact directly with Social Network platforms. The integration of some tools may require a customized integration and specific development.
Initial instances of SOTERIA platform web interface and mobile application, the Text Analysis Tool Tweet locator (TAT2), POMOC application and data fusion components were tested and evaluated.

Finally, a first version of the CoE Plan was refined during the Barents Rescue 2015 Exercise. Using the observations of and feedback from the exercise as inputs, SOTERIA CoE were clearly divided into four separate campaigns which include a number of experimentations conducted in several countries:
1. SOTERIA in emergencies, Command and control centre level
2. SOTERIA in emergencies, Operational (field) level
3. Observation Campaign
4. Integration Campaign

Potential Impact:
SOTERIA aims at developing recommendations and a toolbox to leverage the positive impact that social media can play in emergencies, enabling public safety organisations (PSOs) and citizens to communicate before, during and after an emergency event. Empowered by new mobile phones with cameras, text messaging and internet-based applications connecting to social media, citizens expect PSOs to use the same technologies. The project looks at the ability of PSOs to effectively respond to emergency in the pre, during and post-event phases as well as the capacity of citizens to take an active role in the emergency response process through four dimensions (THEO approach):
• Technological: this dimension entails the integration of current ICT tools for emergencies and crises into the SOTERIA Toolbox so as to explore the real potential of mobile technologies and social media in emergencies and crises.
• Human: this dimension comprises the citizens’ perspective on the impact, acceptance and adequate employment of state-of-the-art mobile and social media communication technologies in emergencies, concerning human factor analyses, message delivery channels and message content.
• Ethical and Legal: this dimension concerns both the commitment of the SOTERIA Consortium to stand by the relevant ethical principles and legal framework when developing and ethics-by-design project approach, and the ethical and legal considerations and waivers that discussions on privacy rights and public security boundaries might bring, regarding the use of new ICT tools in emergency response efforts.
• Organisational: this dimension focus on the public safety organisations and their culture, roles, processes, competences, training and technologies to explore how social media impacts their daily activity and how to adapt these organisations to include social media in their emergency procedures and management systems, building their trust in social media platforms and thus facilitating the process of introducing the SOTERIA Prototype into the organisations’ operational processes.

The SOTERIA Prototype to be developed during the project, will comprise:
• SOTERIA Recommendations, to provide guidelines and courses of action for PSOs and citizens;
• SOTERIA Toolbox, integrating emergency-related ICT tools and functionality (e.g., social media tools and mobile applications) that offer additional communication channels between PSOs and citizens and enhance high-quality situational awareness for PSOs and citizens in emergencies.
SOTERIA shall innovate by allowing the (i) understanding of the impact that social media entails in emergency management systems; (ii) use of all communication channels in emergency situations, including social media, (iii) exploitation of the ubiquity of mobile platforms to locate and effectively communicate with citizens in distress; and (iv) leverage the levels of shared awareness and performance of PSOs, benefiting from social media information.

List of Websites:
http://soteria.i112.eu

Related information

Contact

Andre Oliveira, (Business Development Manager)
Tel.: +351 213304300
Fax: +351 213304301
E-mail

Subjects

Safety
Record Number: 187662 / Last updated on: 2016-08-23
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