Resilience Concepts to Improve Capacity to Deal with Expected and Unexpected Events

Welcome to the DARWIN website and to the ‘DARWIN blog’! We will use this blog to continuously update you on what we are working on, our progress, and our thoughts on various topics related to DARWIN.

We are very excited to be part of this interesting and very relevant project, and hope that you will join us on our journey towards designing and delivering practical, comprehensive and usable European Resilience Guidelines for use during real time crisis situations. The DARWIN project commenced on the 1 June 2015, and so far work is progressing according to plan. A lot of research has already been done in the fields of crisis management and crisis response. However, the focal point of this project is the field of resilience, which is still a new and emerging research area. In our first blog post, we will outline to you the aspects which differentiate this project from other similar projects:

The Objective

  • DARWIN aims to produce evolving European Resilience Management Guidelines, presented in different formats to different stakeholders.

The area of resilience is constantly evolving, the guidelines need to be in a format that can be easily updated, taking into account new developments made by us in the DARWIN team, or by others.

The Essential Component

  • Importance of end-users within the consortium from the domains of Air Traffic Management (ATM) and Healthcare: these end users have actively participated in the project preparation, contributing to the end-user outlook in the proposal preparation and they are actively involved in all phases of the project.
  • The importance of end-users: to address the combined needs of crisis management and resilience developments, DARWIN will facilitate a Community of Resilience and Crisis Practitioners (CoCRP) that brings together infrastructure operators, policy makers, academia and other relevant stakeholders. We have already started to create mechanisms, enabled by social media, which will allow CoCRP members to exchange views and experiences on resilience and crisis management, including concept developments made within the project in a dynamic, interactive and fluent way.

Resilience landscape covered by DARWIN (inspired by Prof. Hollnagel and Prof. Woods):

  • Resilience has become extremely popular; our team addresses the concept of resilience from the resilience engineering perspective. We consider particular systems to be resilient if they can adjust their functionality prior to, during, or following events (changes, disturbances, and/or opportunities), and therefore sustain required operations under both expected and unexpected conditions. DARWIN builds on proven resilience capabilities:
  • Anticipate threats, opportunities and cascade effects. It is not only about identifying single events, but how parts may interact and affect each other (within and across organisations, and within and across domains).
  • Monitor in a flexible way means that the systems own performance and external conditions focus on what is essential for the operation
  • Respond and adapt to expected and unexpected crises in a robust and flexible manner. The system is designed to provide a limited range of responses; there is still a necessity to adjust responses in a flexible way.
  • Learn and evolve from experience of actual events, successes and failures; what to learn, and how the learning is reflected in the organization.
  • Examples of topics we plan to address within these capabilities when dealing with a crisis:
  • Emergence: emergent outcomes are not additive, they cannot be deconstructed into components, we consider that we live in an interconnected world and that there are hidden interdependencies and unexpected events may arise .
  • Adaptive capacity: the ability or potential ability to adjust activities, resources, tactics, strategies, and uncertainty to regulate processes relative to targets and constraints.
  • Potential for the unexpected events: no plan survives contact with a disaster-in-the-making. Systems are adapted to the potential for surprise relative to their scope of responsibility.

A highly committed and multidisciplinary team working with innovation:

  • The DARWIN team acknowledges the need to think differently to achieve the best solutions for our society. We are aware of the importance and complexity of crisis management. We are addressing the crisis management approach along with the challenge of generating practical European Resilience Guidelines for application during real time crisis situations. Our multidisciplinary team brings together experts and practitioners from many domains related to crisis management, resilience engineering and community resilience; including renowned researchers, public bodies and SME partners. The creation and active involvement of the CoCRP contributes to strengthen a real operational environment for project developments and ensure uptake of results.

We are looking forward to showing you our work and achievements throughout the next three years, and we hope you visit our blog page often.

Best wishes from the Coordinator Team in SINTEF,

Ivonne and Christina.


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