Helping to make innovative crisis management (CM) solutions useable, useful and used by emergency practitioners
We are all facing a huge array of challenges to our society today – challenges that are putting enormous pressure and strains on our crisis management organisations and are testing the resilience of the societies we live in.
Climate change is increasingly affecting our weather patterns, resulting in widespread flooding and forest fires. Cross-border migration is impacting societies right across Europe. Marauding terrorist firearms attacks, as seen in Paris and Brussels recently, are top of the security agenda. And the power of social media is changing the way that citizens are involved in a crisis.
Crisis Management is an ever-evolving skill. We have to evolve the way we prepare and respond to these challenges and how we communicate with our citizens.
DRIVER has the goal of enhancing crisis management capabilities and societal resilience in Europe. It provides guidance and support for resilience and innovation in these areas by helping practitioners articulate their needs in a structured dialogue with researchers and industry. In doing so, it also fosters flexibility and adaptability to future threats and changing crisis situations.
The DRIVER project has three main objectives:
- Developing test-bed infrastructure and methodology to test and evaluate novel solutions, during the project and beyond. It provides guidelines on how to plan and perform experiments, as well as a framework for evaluation.
- Analysing regulatory frameworks and procedures relevant for the implementation of DRIVER-tested solutions including standardisation.
- Developing methodology for fostering societal values and avoiding negative side effects to society as a whole from crisis management and societal resilience solutions.
Compiling and evaluating solutions
- Strengthening crisis communication and facilitating community engagement and self-organisation.
- Evaluating emerging solutions for professional responders with a focus on improving the coordination of the response effort
- Benefiting professionals across borders by sharing learning solutions, lessons learned and competencies
Large scale experiments and demonstration
- Execution of large-scale experiments to integrate and evaluate crisis management solutions.
- Demonstrating improvements in enhanced crisis management practices and resilience through the DRIVER experiments.
Methodology & Thematic Dimension:
Inertia to innovation exists in all sectors, but Crisis Management and other domains of civil security have some particularly inhibiting characteristics. Since Crisis Management organisations are expected to deal with all types of crises, which are not handled by somebody else, it is easy to question whether a new solution is really better for all relevant contingencies than the one it is proposed to replace. A better evidence-base for Crisis Management capability investment decisions is therefore needed.
DRIVER is not about the wholesale redesign of Crisis Management capabilities but about achieving innovation based on the systematic testing and adaptation of already existing ideas that are grouped into three main thematic strands:
- Civil Society Resilience
- Strengthened Responders
- Training and Learning
Project outcomes: DRIVER will substantially contribute to strengthening the European Crisis Management arena by means of its innovative demonstration concept the DRIVER enabling dimension, i.e. distributed test-bed. The project will:
- Address the current (and, after the project’s end, future) needs in the Crisis Management field developing the DRIVER Portfolio of Tools
- Help professional responders and society to adaptively cope with crises by addressing their needs
- Create a more comprehensive view on Crisis Management & develop a common European Crisis Management culture and understanding by creating and fostering a DRIVER Community
- Achieve innovation based on testing and adaptation of existing tools & ideas
- Design integrated solutions that build long term societal resilience to help crisis managers to work in, and with communities affected by crisis
- Improve and demonstrate the effectiveness of learning solutions aimed at improving the Crisis Management competencies of professionals and communities in the European Union
Some examples of the main activities in DRIVER:
DRIVER relevant outcomes
Austrian Red Cross Austrian Institute of Technology Frequentis (Vienna)