Improving Europe's crisis management capability
Persistent threats and challenges to our safety and security call for better action at the international level. An EU-funded project offers the means to advance and improve Europe's crisis management and disaster resilience capabilities through standardisation.
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Growing collaboration among countries in the face of both natural hazards and terrorism increases the problems of interoperability, which can be overcome by harmonisation of the various technologies, systems, services and interfaces being used.
The EU-funded RESISTAND project has identified and analysed the problems caused by communication failures, discrepancies in methods and the incompatibility of different systems. Researchers have determined new ways to overcome these challenges and thus improve the EUs disaster management potential.
RESISTAND has made numerous recommendations to both standardisation bodies and policymakers.
If these recommendations are taken into account, the disaster management of the EU and its Member States will be significantly improved through faster and more efficient standardisation that leads to better interoperability on several levels of operations, says project coordinator Pertti Woitsch of Geowise in Finland.
Saving time and money
By identifying and assessing a total of 69 new standardisation initiatives in the domain of disaster management, RESISTAND offers a good basis for future standardisation efforts. The tools developed over the course of the project are expected to not only save both time and money in the evolution of standards for disaster planning, but also avoid duplication of efforts.
RESISTAND consulted three key stakeholder communities throughout the duration of the project. These included end users who employ standards in their daily work, such as civil protection and law enforcement agencies, first responders and NGOs; suppliers from industry and research organisations who produce new ideas and opportunities for standardisation; and those organisations that generate the standardisation process, such as technical and military committees and working groups dealing with IT standards.
Based on data collected from these stakeholder communities, RESISTAND mapped demand and supply with existing norms to identify standardisation gaps. It subsequently produced a prioritised roadmap for future standards that can motivate improvements in crisis management and disaster resilience.
RESISTAND supports the management of threats to society with cross-border and global consequences, such as armed conflict, terrorism, pandemics and natural disasters. It fosters a more efficient protection of citizens through anticipation, preparedness, response and adaptation to crisis situations. It also promotes improved collaboration between national, European and international stakeholders through unified processes and management systems, as well as via technical, procedural, operational and semantic interoperability.
The benefits of the project are not only related to crisis management and disaster resilience.
There is huge hidden potential in RESISTAND that can significantly extend the impact of the project, says Woitsch. The methods and tools offered by RESISTAND such as the assessment framework, the road mapping and the sustainable process can, with minor adjustments, be applied to practically any domain of standardisation.