Disaster resilience: what are the challenges?

Disasters have severe and far-reaching human and economic impacts. The resilience of societies requires interaction between Civil Protection Authorities and citizens. Despite many governments implementing risk communication strategies, research shows that the risk awareness, knowledge, and preparedness of citizens across Europe remains low. There is a widespread disconnect between the way risk is perceived and acted upon and its actual occurrence. Given that societal participation is key to modern resilience efforts, an inclusive dialogue that incorporates a diverse range of stakeholders and members of society is important towards enhancing resilience across all levels.

Strengthening disaster resilience

How can we facilitate solutions to close the Risk Perception-Action Gap (RPAG) and improve individual and collective disaster resilience?

RiskPACC partners will develop technical and non-technical solutions, guidelines, and recommendations to bridge the gap between how risk is perceived and acted upon by different stakeholders and its actual occurrence. RiskPACC will develop:

  • A framework and methodology to understand and close the RPAG
  • A repository of international best practices from both citizens and Civil Protection Authorities
  • Tooled solutions based on new forms of digital and community-centred data and associated training guidance.

The RiskPACC solutions will be tested in 7 case studies focusing on different hazards (i.e., wildfires, floods, earthquakes, CBRN, terrorism, pandemics) and multi-hazard events to understand how best to close the RPAG and strengthen disaster resilience for the future.

Build an understanding of disaster resilience

Trilateral will help build an understanding of disaster resilience by defining and contextualising disaster resilience approaches. It will establish appropriate definitions of disaster resilience and risk perception, drawing upon both citizen and Civil Protection Authority perspectives. These understandings will help form the basis of a methodology designed to reduce the RPAG.

Engage with Civil Protection Authorities and citizens

Trilateral will engage with Civil Protection Authorities and citizens by conducting surveys, interviews, and local dialogue focus groups to initiate interactive discussions. These methods will be used to understand local resilience practices and approaches and build a community of users.

Identify existing gaps between research, policy, and practice

In order to map the current landscape of disaster resilience, Trilateral will identify the current state-of-the-art, good practices and end-user perspectives and requirements. This will enable Trilateral to pinpoint gaps in the current operation of disaster resilience and risk perception concepts, processes and methods within and across risk management sectors.

Support RiskPACC’s co-creational approach

RiskPACC will employ a co-creation approach based on multi-disciplinary perspectives to increase disaster resilience in a way that reaches across societies, paying particular attention to vulnerable groups. Trilateral will engage with a variety of Civil Protection Authority stakeholders, citizens, experts and end-users throughout its work to support the co-creational approach integral to the project. Through consultation with Civil Protection Authorities and citizens, RiskPACC partners will form a new understanding of risk that aims to identify and investigate local vulnerabilities that go otherwise undetected.

For more information, visit the project website.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101019707

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