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Engage Society for Risk Awareness and Resilience

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ENGAGE (Engage Society for Risk Awareness and Resilience)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2020-07-01 do 2021-06-30

The actual global scenario is increasingly exposing the human society to higher hazards, requiring that all individuals specifically and the civil society at large, acquire the ability to rapidly respond to natural disaster and to man-made risks. Risk awareness is indeed a strong priority for modern societies and social resilience is necessary to enhance successful responses to unexpected emergencies. In the actual strategies there is a gap between the formal effort of public authorities to protect citizens from harm and the voluntary support provided by citizens during emergencies. Starting from this awareness, ENGAGE addresses the whole society and tries to bridge the different ways of intervention to make communities more skilled in responding to disasters jointly and therefore more resilient.
We analyze past natural emergencies, terrorist attacks, and man-made disasters to understand how citizens supported formal intervention practices during emergencies under specific contextual conditions. Together with real practitioners from our Knowledge and Innovation Community of Practice (KI-CoP), we propose emergency response strategies to bring the population closer to rescuers and authorities, bridging the gap between formal and informal guidelines in specific contexts. We validate our solutions with real users ensuring that they can be transferable to different contexts and can produce actionable knowledge and validated risk management guidelines.
One of the key components of the ENGAGE Project’s methodology is the participatory collaboration with real emergency workers from the fields of safety and risk management. The KI-CoP is an open association including practitioners, NGOs, Virtual Operations Support Teams, researchers scientists, and citizens’ representatives supporting ENGAGE as users and co-owners of its solutions.
The project conducted a rich investigation of societal resilience using various methodologies (quantitative and qualitative) and from two main approaches: the point of view of citizens and communities, and that of authorities and emergency organisations. Case studies, interviews and surveys provided data from various countries (including European countries, Israel and Japan) and allowed for comparative analyses between contexts and populations. This work enabled the identification of aspects of societal resilience and the generation of insights on communication practices and tools.
Work in WP2 especially led to the identification and collection of data about a wide variety of solutions to support how authorities and emergency organizations interact with populations. This work involved literature and documentation analysis as well as focus groups and interviews with users of such solutions, partners and KI-CoP members. A knowledge structure for cataloguing the solutions was proposed in order to facilitate the selection, additional data collection and systematic description of the solutions. This structure allows for the description of associated benefits, factors of societal resilience and lessons for implementation.
Expectations were clarified for end-users (WP1: population; WP2 authorities and emergency organizations), allowing to better define potential benefits and impact of catalogue solutions. Validation activities were planned at high-level and a few limited initial validation activities were conducted. Based on project discussions, including on end-user needs, the objectives of validation activities was refocused, from an emphasis on solutions (as described in the DoA), to an emphasis on the general project’s catalogue approach and content – which was found to be more relevant by end-users.
The Knowledge Innovation Community of Practice (KI-CoP) is a network of experts that was established during Y1 to involve different stakeholders in the project (esp. domain practitioners, researchers, technology providers). Approximately 40 members were counted at M12.Various online events were organized during Y1 to present the project and gather input and feedback from KI-CoP members. In parallel, ENGAGE was actively involved in the cluster of projects financed by the DRS01 programme. Activities of the DRS01 cluster included participation in events organized by the EC and in activities aiming to identify synergies between the projects. The setting up of the project’s website, presence on selected social media and production of dissemination content allowed the project to reach a larger audience.
Policy-related project activities have started and relevant policies have been identified (including the Sendai Priority Actions mentioned in the DoA). This work is connected to the project’s participation in events from the European Commission, and collaboration in the DRS01 cluster (especially collaborative preparation of a session proposal in the 2021 European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction).
The ENGAGE knowledge platform is based on existing, mature solutions that represent the state of the art in tools, methods and practices to successfully involve the public. Beyond this, the central outcome of the project will be a catalogue of solutions for societal resilience, validated through pilots and providing rich information to facilitate their selection and application to a specific context and needs. The project will develop a model for assessing and methods improving societal resilience, best practices for communication and social media, and a guide for engaging and empowering citizens in co-creating resilience related research. In addition, the project will propose advances on design for innovative uses of communication and social media technology.
Advances in ENGAGE will be made in particular through the establishment and management of the Knowledge Innovation Community of Practice (KI-CoP), a network of experts, practitioners and civilian representatives who constitute the project results stakeholders of the project. ENGAGE's objective is that KI-CoP is a result that carries on after the project.
The long-term vision of the ENGAGE project is to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Developments Goals (SDG) with particular effect on the objective eleven: make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Also, the solutions proposed by ENGAGE contributes to the SENDAI Framework for Disaster and Risk Reduction, managing to establish a broader, people-centric approach to disaster risk.
Disaster response illustration