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Improved risk evaluation and implementation of resilience concepts to critical infrastructure

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - IMPROVER (Improved risk evaluation and implementation of resilience concepts to critical infrastructure)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-11-30

Large scale crises are affecting critical infrastructures with a growing frequency. This is a result of both basic exposure and dependencies between infrastructures. Because of prohibitive costs, the paradigm of protection against extreme events is expanding and now also encompasses the paradigm of resilience. In addition to strengthening and securing systems; system design objectives are now being set, and response planning is being carried out, to facilitate a fast recovery of infrastructure following a large scale incident.
The overall objective of IMPROVER is to improve European critical infrastructure resilience to crises and disasters through the implementation of combinations of societal, organisational and technological resilience concepts to real life examples of pan-European significance, including cross-border examples. This implementation will be enabled through the development of a methodology based on the risk management process and informed by a review of the positive impact of different resilience concepts on critical infrastructures.
The principal outcome from the IMPROVER project will be a generalised methodology for implementation of resilience concepts to critical infrastructure. The methodology will meet two main criteria:
• Firstly, the methodology will be scalable from the system level to the level of a network of interconnected systems (a system-of-systems). Such a methodology would be of use not only for critical infrastructure owners but for policy and decision makers and for disaster recovery planning. The methodology will therefore require the expression of resilience in a common framework addressing issues of scope, domain and audience.
• Secondly, the methodology will account for not only the level of risk which infrastructure is exposed to but also the level of risk which the operators and which society are willing to accept. The methodology will therefore be based on a complete risk evaluation process, thus improving the decision making process for resource allocation and infrastructure planning. The methodology will also account for exposure as a result of interdependencies between infrastructures. The methodology will be presented in a proposed European Resilience Management Guideline with suggested input to standardisation of resilience management on a European level.
The IMPROVER project will ensure that the developed methodology is applicable to, and of use in, pan-European infrastructure. IMPROVER will achieve this by operationalising the methodology in a pilot implementation to infrastructure of European significance.
The project consortium have reviewed the current approaches for defining, evaluating and implementing resilience concepts in critical infrastructure. One of the outcomes from the literature review and the other project work which has been ongoing is a lexicon of definitions of terms related to critical infrastructure resilience. Terms from this lexicon have already been included in the CIPedia platform.
The project relies on ‘4 living labs’ for testing the methodologies and tools which we are developing and studying. One important task early on was the definition of relevant hazard scenarios to study within the project. For this process we relied on a process of structured elicitation of expert judgement, which is a formalized process to determine a rational consensus among subject-matter experts on the uncertainties associated with problems where sufficient empirical or historical data is not available to characterize uncertainties statistically.
The first Associate partner workshop, intended to gather the projects associate partners together to present and discuss the projects results in plenary, was held at DBI’s facility in Copenhagen in October 2015. The second workshop was held as an associated event with the CRITIS conference in Paris in October of 2016.
The operators workshops are held annually in collaboration with the ERNCIP operators workshops. This allows an interaction between the IMPROVER partners and the ERNCIP thematic groups. The first workshop was held in April of 2016 at the JRC’s Ispra site. The discussions with the ERNCIP operators and the thematic groups in one open forum were very fruitful. The next operators workshop is planned for May 2017.
The project has also reported on the expectations of CI operators which the public has in times of crisis. It is based on a review of literature, semi structured surveys with CI operators within the living labs, and a public survey. Questions were focused on minimum acceptable level of service for food and essential goods, water, and transportation and expectations of help and information provided by CI operators.
The project consortium have developed the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Index (CIRI), for analysing the resilience of infrastructure based on indicators grouped under the phases in the crisis management cycle and mapped to the phases of the resilience triangle (resistance, absorption and recovery).
There is no consensus within scientific community about resilience or its correlates. Different authors argue for different definitions of resilience, which indicates how contested and ambiguous the concept is. While analysing the evolution of the concept, three facets of resilience were found in the literature, namely engineering resilience, ecological resilience, and social-ecological resilience.

While conducting our literature review, we found several tools and models for evaluating and measuring resilience. Within IMPROVER we also presented the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Index (CIRI), and demonstrated how the related methodology works with a few illustrations to different infrastructures. The methodology is applicable to all types of infrastructure, including a possibility to tailor it to the specific needs of different sectors, facilities and hazard scenarios. The user of the methodology is supposed to be the critical infrastructure operator in terms of self-auditing. The innovative potential is that with CIRI one is able to transfer the quantitative and qualitative evaluations of individual sector-specific resilience indicators into uniform metrics, based on process maturity levels.

Including CIRI, all of the methodologies for resilience analysis require to account better for the requirements of a resilience assessment tool for CI operators. This is being addressed in work package 5 of the project, which is developing a resilience management framework including resilience analysis and resilience evaluation methodologies.

The proposal integrates the paradigm of resilience into the risk assessment process according to ISO 31000. The framework is nested and consists of three levels, namely (a) asset (focus on individual CI assets), (b) system (focus on dependencies between CI assets) and (c) national (focus on societal aspects). It is applicable to individual CI assets accounting both for existing risk assessment activities (at the operator level) and input from national risk assessments, while at the same time employing current, available resilience analysis tools. The framework can also be applied on a system level, accounting for the results of risk and resilience assessment of individual assets, but also accounting for interdependencies and their effect on performance on interconnected CI.