DRIVER+ is an end-user driven project ultimately aiming at providing added value to Crisis Management. To serve this purpose, the understanding of Crisis Management practitioners’ needs appears as one building block of paramount importance, on which future activities should be developed.
The elaboration of a consolidated view on the current and future capability gaps in Crisis Management was carried out in DRIVER+, in which a capability gap is understood to be the difference between a current capability and the capability considered necessary for the adequate performance of one or more disaster management tasks. The conducted work specifically aimed at identifying, better understanding and describing such gaps. This initial set of gaps was challenged and enriched through an in-depth analysis of the available literature in this field.
The Driver+ Gap Assessment Workshop was organised on 16-17 January 2018 in Entente Valabre (near Aix-en-Provence) to assess and validate these gaps. The event aimed at reviewing and detailing what gaps exist today between the existing capabilities of responders and what is expected for effective and timely response. It gathered more than 40 practitioners, coming from all over Europe. Participants were invited to share lessons learned and experiences in order to help DRIVER+ prioritize the most important gaps on which its future work should focus and ensure that no important gap is missed.
The result of this process is the compilation of 21 Crisis Management capability gaps organised in 5 Crisis Management functional domains : Decision support, Information sharing and coordination, Engaging the population, Resource planning and logistics and Casualty management.
The major overall results of the gaps assessment validation process can be summed up as follows:
- 91% of the gaps are validated by more than 50% respondents (19 gaps out of 21)
- Among which, 29% of the gaps are validated by all (100%) respondents (6 gaps)
- Capability dimension: current capability is considered fair to poor in 71% of the gaps (15 gaps out of 21)
- Severity dimension : 52% of the gaps are considered severe (11 gaps out of 21)
- Urgency dimension : 33% of the gaps are considered urgent (7 gaps out of 21)
Most gaps are validated and shared among workshop participants, however the situation differs depending on the size and severity of the crisis; and the level of required crisis management (local or regional versus national). There is a common agreement among participants that the technical dimension of the gaps is often not the main constraint, as training, organisational, legal, cultural aspects also play a key role.
These gaps will support the design of the four trials in the project. Therefore, the DRIVER+ Gaps Assessment Workshop was an essential step en route to the four Trials and the Final Demonstration, which will be organised to operationalise and trial solutions.