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  • Final Report Summary - DESTRIERO (A DEcision Support Tool for Reconstruction and recovery and for the IntEroperability of international Relief units in case Of complex crises situations, including CBRN contamination risks)

DESTRIERO Report Summary

Project ID: 312721
Funded under: FP7-SECURITY
Country: Italy

Final Report Summary - DESTRIERO (A DEcision Support Tool for Reconstruction and recovery and for the IntEroperability of international Relief units in case Of complex crises situations, including CBRN contamination risks)

Executive Summary:
DESTRIERO was a Collaborative Project funded by the European Union (EU) in the frame of the Seventh Framework Program for Research and Technological Innovation (FP7), topic FP7-SEC-2012.4.3-1 Next Generation damage and post-crisis needs assessment tool for reconstruction and recovery planning - Capability Project.

The project started on 1st of September 2013 with duration of 36 months. The total budget was of 4.169.133,82 €, being the maximum EU contribution of 2.933.015,58 €.
The consortium was made up of 13 members from 8 different countries in Europe (Italy, Germany, Poland, France, Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom, Ireland), including industrial service providers and specialized small & medium size enterprises, research centers and universities, operational end users.

The DESTRIERO project aimed at developing a next generation post-crisis needs assessment tool for reconstruction and recovery planning phase, including
- novel data and information interoperability across organizations and systems in combination with an advanced multi-criteria decision analysis tool
- structural damage assessment (on buildings, bridges, dams) through advanced remote sensing enriched by in-field data collection
- data integration and analysis, based on international standards

A network centric approach for the interoperability of information and service and the decision support tool have been realized: the adopted solution allows a complete collaboration at all levels of the organizations involved in the crises management and among different ones.
Particular attention has been addressed to the CBRN contamination (a dedicated tool has been integrated), to Critical infrastructure recovery (considered with priority, as essential for the recovery of social and economic aspects), to humanitarian aspects, as aggravating circumstances, in order to support the accountability of humanitarian aid contributions.

The project achieved the goals and milestones according to the Description of Work, and has realized a system able to provide the functionalities supporting the damage assessment and monitoring, fostering Information sharing between relief organizations and their information systems, support the decision making process during the PDNA and RRP phases.

The successful DESTRIERO Project finalization has been gained thanks to:
- strong involvement and commitment of the End Users stakeholders (PSNI, SGSP, AMI), and of leading European industries, research organizations and SMEs.
- continuous monitoring of activities and assessment of the results.

This has allowed to the DESTRIERO solution to reach a TRL of 6: technology demonstrated in a relevant environment (industrially relevant environment).

Project Context and Objectives:
Natural or man-made disasters have a major impact on the living conditions, economic performance and environmental status of affected countries or regions. Consequences may be long term and can significantly deteriorate the quality of life, social structures and the environment, particularly in developing countries.
Regions affected can be vast, and reconstruction and recovery operations are longer-lasting, costly and complex. Adequately coordinated damage and needs assessment, reconstruction and recovery planning can contribute greatly to mitigate the economic and humanitarian impact of such disasters and speed-up the required actions to restore the situation in “a state close to the original one”.
In such situations emergency operations, damage and needs assessment and reconstruction activities are coordinated by local authorities, with the support of a variety of different national and international relief organizations acting in relatively autonomous manner.
Although significant efforts have been undertaken by international organizations to coordinate stakeholders in the early recovery management stages, no supporting software tool is available, and important gaps remain in optimizing coordination at the operational level.
The DESTRIERO solution has been designed to fill this gap, offering damage assessment tools (including decision support functionalities), built on internationally agreed procedures and standards, to collect data in homogeneous formats.
The main objectives achieved by the DESTRIERO solution were the following:
• Support continuous damage and contamination assessment, monitoring and updating, through a combination of satellite data and aerial photos enriched with data from the field.
• Boost information sharing by “automated” data and information interoperability between relief organizations and their information systems for coordinated PDNA and RRP processes
• Visualization of these data in a common operational picture with links to needs assessments and recovery planning information within a multilayer GIS type user interface
• Centralize management information in a single location, including PDNA and RRP Frameworks
• Support prioritization and joint decision making with a novel tool, based on a recently developed decision support methodology and prototype software
In order to fulfill the above mentioned objectives, the project was organized as follow:
• a specific Task was designed to keep a constant dialogue and coordinate the Users (T1.4 User Group setup and management) and a dedicated board was created to monitor this involvement.
• a specific Task was designed to validate the system by the users and to train them to the use (T8.3 - Usability Verification and validation)
• Two dedicated work packages were set up to define data exchange model in order to achieve semantic data interoperability (WP3 – Technological interoperability for damage assessment and recovery needs) and to define a Functional interoperability between different stakeholders (WP4 - Functional interoperability for Coordination and Planning).
• Three specific WPs were dedicated respectively to the design of the platform (WP5 – DESTRIERO Architecture Design) the development of each module (WP6 – Development of Platform for PDNA and RRP) ant the final integration into the final platform (WP7 – DESTRIERO Modules Integration)
• Finally, within WP8 – Demonstration and Validation, the system has been validated in an operational scenario.

Project Results:
DESTRIERO delivers a complete solution for the recovery phase of the crisis management cycle, offering innovative and state of art functionalities for continuous post crisis needs and damage assessment, communication, information sharing and coordination among stakeholders, as well as decision making to prioritize reconstruction projects.
The DESTRIERO platform is a distributed system of systems and leverages on an own private network. The platform is conceived to interconnect several and heterogeneous information sources and third party systems provided by the companies involved in DESTRIERO.
Punctual or forecast data from weather systems, local sensors, Copernicus satellite data, official crisis data from ReliefWeb, GDACS and analytical data from WHO represent an example of the interconnected information sources available through DESTRIERO
The first release of the platform includes several third party systems, as Myriad decision support from TRT, B2M phone communication system by Saadian, NEON contamination estimation and propagation by THP, WebGIS and Crowdsourcing by e-GEOS. Information provided by the sources and services provided by third party systems are integrated and delivered to the users by means of the DESTRIERO Human-Machine Interface (HMI).
The extensibility principles behind the DESTRIERO concept, e.g. core functionalities, such as persistency, messaging, activity planning, etc., are provided directly by the DESTRIERO network. Other functionalities are requested from external systems connected to DESTRIERO by means of adapters. Hence, the system functionality can be extended in the future, if needed, by developing proper adapters.
DESTRIERO has been developed with the extensibility perspective in mind, giving way to even further potential development of solutions, allowing its adaptability to newly identified needs within crisis management. According to this approach multiple and diverse systems are integrated in a seamless way to the final user and a preliminary integration feasibility has been deeply analyzed in the context of the cooperation with the REDIRNET FP7 Project where a REDIRNET plugin has been analysed and fully designed.
During the development activities, it has been possible to demonstrate the validity of the platform architecture to enable the interoperability between heterogeneous sources and systems, adapting the configurations in order to be able to operate in different environments, each with different domains and security rules. The adapter components have facilitated the integration of external data, from services deployed on Internet to library-based frameworks, filling the gap between remote services technologies and platform ones.
At the end of the development and integration phase, multiple and diverse systems were integrated. This has required the harmonization and standardization of information coming from different sources and in different formats into the DESTRIERO Information Model, boosting the interoperability between the connected systems. A fully functional working prototype was produced for the demonstration, with all the expected functionalities available and the complete information sharing level.
The added value to operate with a common and well-defined data model was at the end well highlighted. The separation of the information model from the distribution model has given the opportunity to evaluate new approaches. This separation has represented a trade off between two highly desirable features: data structures able to evolve without any impact on interfaces, and the necessity to use a common and standard model in order to keep a shared and unambiguous meaning for data. The price paid has been represented by the time spent to translate data from a model to another and vice-versa.
Valuable was also the demonstration of the validity of the development methodology based on the separation of API from actual implementations. The adoption of this approach increased the parallelism of development activities. After the distribution of a significant set of examples, several teams were able to adopt the proposed approach, distributing its API and implementing expected behavior.
Another important result is due to the adoption of the Top-Down approach in the web service realization. As expected, adopting the Top-Down approach has made the web services design, development and use uncomplicated. In the only case when this approach was not followed, the final integration was quite more complicated, which clearly validates the Top-Down approach. At the cost of an apparent increased commitment to design the WSDL, the approach ensures a stable WSDL, good performance, high reusability, easy maintenance and versioning.
The demonstration campaign has offered the opportunity to evaluate critical aspects of information sharing in crisis management, comparing requirements described in the scientific literature with effective ones. During test sessions the use of open source technologies is resulted as necessary condition to be able to facing efficiently problems arising from real operative conditions.

Potential Impact:
In order to understand the potential impact of the DESTRIERO solution it is important to recall the context in which it has been developed.
In fact, nowadays, natural disaster such as earthquakes, wind storm, floods, or man-made disaster or even terrorist attacks have a major impact on the living conditions, economic and environmental status of affected countries or regions. Besides dramatic structural damages also CBRN contamination risks can occur as a consequence of these events (e.g. Fukushima accident) leading to both economic and humanitarian tragedies. Ever wider geographic areas are affected, sometimes crossing national borders, while reconstruction and recovery operations are increasingly longer-lasting, costly and complex, especially when decontamination is necessary. In such situations emergency management, but also Post-Crisis Damage and Needs Assessment (PDNA) and Reconstruction and Recovery Planning (RRP), is usually coordinated by local authorities or dedicated civil protection organizations, with the support of a variety of different national and international relief organizations acting relatively autonomously. The damage assessment needs analysis, recovery, and reconstruction planning process is typically coordinated through periodic physical meetings of the involved organizations, in which information is shared about the situation, priorities set and responsibilities allocated. Follow-up and execution of tasks is managed by each individual relief organization, supported by a range of more or less proprietary not interoperable tools.
No advanced software platform or tools are available to support this process as a joint operation in which information is continuously updated and shared between the organizations, progress monitored and accountability facilitated. DESTRIERO has developed an advanced net-centric information management tool, which structures and presents information to collaborative groups of (international) stakeholder organizations and supports damage and needs assessment as well as recovery planning.
The strong potential and impact of DESTRIERO have been clearly highlighted during the demonstration day and the dissemination day: several positive feedbacks were collected and many questions raised and suggestion for new functionalities raised.
As expected, a great interest has been shown for the Information Sharing & Communication aspects, one of the main functionalities of the platform and, at the same time, one of the main lacks of current systems/operational procedures. The possibility to set easily communications among different teams, organization, stakeholder using the same tools and having access to the same system and to the same data it is one of the strengths of the platform that could make the difference in operational situations
From a dissemination point of view, the most part of the activities has been concentrated in the last part of the project, when the system has reached a certain level of maturity, which has allowed to present in an easier way to all possible stakeholder.
A special mention is needed for what concern the Demonstration and the Dissemination Days. In both cases, the audience was much higher than expecting (demonstrating the good approach in promoting the system and the events and a high impact on media has made after the events (press releases, video presentations, LinkedIn and Twitter activities). Moreover, several articles have been realized and presented during the project life and the project has been presented during several event on the security and crises management (e.g. Hungarian National Police workshop, European Security Research – The Next Wave” conference event, COBACORE final event, etc.).

List of Websites:

Project Coordinator: Elena Francioni -
Technical Coordinator: Filippo Daffinà -

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