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Increasing disaster Resilience by establishing a sustainable process to support Standardisation of technologies and services

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ResiStand (Increasing disaster Resilience by establishing a sustainable process to support Standardisation of technologies and services)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2017-04-30

As the complexity of a globalised world is increasing, and issues like climate change related natural hazards and international terrorism increase, our society is facing growing challenges to our citizens’ safety and security. The crises will increasingly have cross-border or global consequences, which cultivates the need and willingness for joint disaster management actions.

With the growing collaboration between various national, EU and International actors, the issues concerning technical, procedural, operational and semantic interoperability grow rapidly. This means that the technologies, management systems, and services as well as the interfaces between those should be harmonised to avoid communication cuts, incongruity of methods and incompatibility of systems.

Standardisation could be an efficient way to overcome the problems described above. However, current standardisation work is facing problems that relate to processes and slow down the identification of standardisation needs and opportunities. The ResiStand project aims to identify and analyse these problems, propose new ways to overcome them, and thus increase the usefulness of standards in disaster resilience.

The goal of the project is to find new ways to improve the disaster management capabilities of the European Union and individual Member States with means of standards. This objective will be achieved through proposing new standardisation activities to improve disaster resilience, providing better understanding of the potential of standardisation as a tool, and presenting a new, sustainable process for better and faster capitalizing on the potential of standards.
ResiStand approaches standardisation through the concept of stakeholder communities. The End-User Community (E-UC) consists of organisations that use standards in their disaster management operations, such as civil protection, rescue and law enforcement agencies as well as NGOs. The Supplier Community (SUC) consists of industrial and research organisations; the Industry supplies the End-Users with systems, products and services for disaster management operations and the researchers supply the industry and the End-Users with research results that often form a basis for standardisation. The Standards Community (SAG) develops the new work items suggested by the End Users or by the Suppliers towards standards.

During the first year of the project, ResiStand has approached these stakeholders and recruited members to the stakeholder communities. A total of 175 experts have registered as members of the three ResiStand Communities (83 of these in E-UC, 75 in SUC and 17 in SAG). ResiStand partners have approached these members to collect data about standards and the standardisation process.

Web-based questionnaires have been used to collect data about the standardisation needs of End-Users and the opportunities offered by the Suppliers. A total of 35 End-Users and 72 Suppliers answered to the survey. The results collected through the questionnaires were augmented in four ResiStand workshops, attended by a total of 37 End-Users and 25 Suppliers. Additionally, a set of H2020 and FP7 projects related to disaster were studied to identify further needs and opportunities. As a result of the above, ResiStand has managed to collect altogether 210 standardisation needs and 314 opportunities.

The Standards Community members were approached through nine interviews of persons managing or participating in standardisation related to disaster management. As a result, a thorough understanding of the standardisation landscape and existing or planned standards was created. Based on the data collected from the stakeholder communities, ResiStand will map the demand and the supply with the existing standards to identify gaps in the standardisation landscape, and to further produce a prioritised roadmap for future standards that can induce improvements in crisis management and disaster resilience – these actions will be accomplished during the second year of the project.

An assessment tool – ResiStand Assessment Framework (RAF) – was developed during the first year for the roadmapping of new standardisation items This framework provides a checklist-based method that will be used to ensure that the efforts invested in the production of a suggested standardisation deliverable is justified; that is, a check is performed whether the standard would match the success criteria for expected feasibility and impact.

Additionally to the needs and opportunities for the standardisation roadmap, the stakeholder community members were queried about their views about the standardisation process as well as about the drivers adding to their motivation to participate in standardisation, and about the restraints and barriers that prevent the experts from participating in these activities.

Based on these data, ResiStand will provide a critical evaluation of the potential of standards for significant contribution to improving disaster resilience. The evaluation examining for means to improve the potential and uptake of standards, ways to overcome the limitations and restraints of standards and examines the relationship between standards, end-user needs and supplier opportunities on the one hand and applicable policy areas on the other hand. This action will be accomplished in the second year of the project.

These results will be utilised to achieve another objective of ResiStand: conclusion of a sustainable pre-standardisation process that improves the currently applied standardisation process. A workflow for matching demand with supply and assessment of feasibility and impact of new work items will be defined. The process will be complemented by recommendations for improved involvement of stakeholders and increasing availability of relevant experts and knowledge providers in standardisation work. These actions will be accomplished in the second year of the project.
The main results of the ResiStand project, the roadmap for standardisation activities related to disaster resilience and the sustainable pre-standardisation process (both described above) will bring the standardisation process to a new level. The standardisation roadmap will significantly speed up the process of introducing new work items and publishing new standardisation deliverables. This not only saves time but also leads to financial savings, as less effort is needed for the planning and definition of the future development.

The sustainable pre-standardisation process will lead to shorter planning periods for any new work items. It also offers a way to assess the feasibility and impact of proposed standards in advance, which prevents costly investments to non-optimal standards. Further, as the process will improve the involvement of all stakeholder groups in the standardisation process, the produced standards will better serve the whole society. The process also considers the domain where the standard should be developed and thus aims to prevent duplicate work between European and international standardisation.