“Some have said they believed using the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines would aid in saving lives” – Euan Morin
Coordinator of the DARWIN Community of Practitioners (DCOP) Euan Morin gives us an insight into the feedback he has received from crisis management experts on the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines.
In addition to his work with the DARWIN project, Euan is a Hospital Emergency Preparedness Coordinator in Sörmland, Sweden and is responsible for managing any crisis that impacts on three hospitals in the region. He explains how the DARWIN Community of Practitioners works and why it has been such a success.
What is the DARWIN Community of Practitioners?
The DARWIN Community of Practitioners consists of over 160 experts in crisis and resilience management from 23 countries around the world.
The experts are from a wide variety of backgrounds including air traffic management, transport, healthcare, civil protections, NGOs, the tech industry, government bodies etc. Almost all critical infrastructures you can think of are represented in this group.The DARWIN researchers established this group of experts so that they could provide them with feedback on the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines, while they were being developed.
The DARWIN Community of Practitioners provides feedback; this is then evaluated by the DARWIN researchers and used to develop and shape the guidelines. The experts have made a profound contribution to the content of the guidelines and will continue to do so, as the group will constantly look at ways to evolve the guidelines, hence the name, ‘DARWIN’.
What sort of feedback have you received from these experts?
Very positive. Many have already begun adopting the guidelines in their own organisations.
We regularly host webinars, face-to-face workshops and online questionnaires with the group to obtain their views and experiences of the guidelines. Some have even said they believed using the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines would aid in saving lives. That has yet to be scientifically proven, but it is encouraging and it does show the impact these guidelines are having on their work.
What are the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines?
When I joined the DARWIN Community of Practitioners in 2017 and began reading the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines I could see straight away that these guidelines have more to offer than any other guidelines or protocols I had used in the past. It was mainly due to the wide variety of expertise in the DARWIN Community of Practitioners and all the knowledge and experience that have helped shape the contents of the guidelines.
The DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines consists of ten Capability Cards. Each Capability Card deals with a specific topic. Using real-life examples, each Capability Card gives guidance on the steps you can take to address this topic before, during and after a crisis. It will help you identify the ‘weak links’ in your organisation and assist you in finding solutions.
The ten Capability Cards are:
1. Promoting Common Ground
2. Establishing Networks
3. Adapting to expected and unexpected events
4. Assessing Community Resilience
5. Identify Sources of Resilience – Learning what goes well
6. Systematic Management of Policies
7. Noticing Brittleness
8. Communication with the public not yet involved in the crisis
9. Understanding Roles and Responsibilities
10. Adapting Plans and Procedures During a Crisis
What makes these guidelines unique?
The guidelines encompass the experience and expertise of operational staff, crisis and resilience management personnel and policy leaders from around the world. It’s invaluable having all levels of practice involved in the DARWIN Community of Practitioners.
For example, in my role in Sweden, I found the ‘Understanding Roles and Responsibilities’ and ‘Assessing Community Resilience’ Capability Cards really useful. Our roles and responsibilities as a team are clear, but the involvement of the community or the public in a crisis is not as defined.
Some of the members of the DARWIN Community of Practitioners are from Israel, where the role and responsibilities of the public and community are much more clearly defined in a crisis. They have population preparedness training and this is an example, outlined in the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines that can potentially be adopted within my team in Sweden. There is a lot to learn, and lots of ideas, even in just this one card.
So, I am sure that users the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines will find aspects that you haven’t thought of before, that you could potential adopt in your organisation to improve your preparedness and resilience.
The guidelines are easy to use and should be incorporated with your existing protocols and guidelines – helping to improve them and test their strength.
Do you need to receive training to adopt the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines?
We had a specific webinar where we asked that question from the participants who had used the guidelines. Now this is only a small focus group, but all of the participants said they could pick up the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines and use them straight away, because they were so easy to use and understand.
My opinion is yes, you can use them straight away without having any training. Read them and see how they can apply to your organisation’s management plan. However, if you would like to find out how to implement the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines through workshops and simulations, when training others, join us for a webinar on 18 September 2018. Click here to register your interest.
What are the main benefits of using the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines?
These guidelines can be used by any organisation, of any size, to become better prepared to manage man-made or natural crises. They will improve your ability to anticipate, monitor, respond, adapt, and operate efficiently in the face of crises.
By using each Capability Card, you’re gaining a structured way of cooperating and coordinating with other authorities and stakeholders when a disaster strikes, including the public. This will, as a whole, will ensure you are responding faster and making better decisions, which in most crisis situations will lead to preventing injuries and saving lives. The DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines can be used to improve your existing guidelines, protocols and procedures.
Why do you think the DARWIN Community of Practitioners has been so successful?
Throughout the project we have sought and received the advice and views of experts from countries worldwide, every step of the way. The feedback that they have given has led to changes being made to the guidelines. This constant two-way communication and co-operation has been one of the main reasons this group has been such a success.
What happens next to the DARWIN Community of Practitioners?
The DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines have been published and are already being used and adopted by organisations in several different countries. But they are not set in stone. With climate change in particular, we are experiencing new and unprecedented crises caused by extreme weather conditions. Therefore, we must keep apace with these changes and ensure the guidelines are monitored and updated frequently to reflect new knowledge and new trends.
We are always looking for new members to join the DARWIN Community of Practitioners. If you are interested in contributing, please email Johan.Hornwall@regionostergotland.se or Euan.Morin@regionostergotland.se