Developing a Community of Practice to Learn, Share and Improve in Emergency Management

Name of the provider (company name or main contact name), or FIRE IN ID ? Gimenez, Raquel; Hernantes, Josune; Labaka, Leire; Maria Sarriegi, Jose; Lauge, Ana

CCC addressed

Scope, rationale, context: general description. Precise here if this technology is currently use (eg. company name or contact info) Natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires, and floods mostly hit unexpectedly without warning so it is important to be prepared having the expertise and knowledge readily available. However, despite the efforts made by organizations to identify lessons from failure, how often are the same mistakes repeated? In emergency management field there is still a limited availability of lessons learned and best practices due to several reasons. Much information exists as fragmented tacit knowledge in the heads of various responders and crisis managers from different countries and organizations. For the improvement of emergency management it is crucial to develop suitable tools that allow main stakeholders to build, share, and apply experiences and lessons learned from previous crises. In this way, mistakes could be avoided and best practices could be replicated. Virtual Communities of Practice (VCoPs) provide an ideal platform that allows groups of people concerned about the same topic to share and increase their knowledge and expertise. This paper describes the findings obtained during the development of a VCoP within a project funded by the European Commission. This VCoP involves multidisciplinary stakeholders from several organizations and nationalities, and has the objective to contribute to the knowledge sharing of lessons learned and best practices in the emergency preparedness and recovery for earthquakes, floods, and fires. The paper describes the barriers that limit the members of the VCoP to sharing lessons learned and best practices identified in three disaster scenario based workshops. Furthermore, it explains the functionalities for the technological platform of the VCoP to overcome these barriers validated by the VCoP members in a case study.

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Natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires, and floods mostly hit unexpectedly without warning so it is important to be prepared having the expertise and knowledge readily available. However, despite the efforts made by organizations to identify lessons from failure, how often are the same mistakes repeated? In emergency management field there is still a limited availability of lessons learned and best practices due to several reasons. Much information exists as fragmented tacit knowledge in the heads of various responders and crisis managers from different countries and organizations. For the improvement of emergency management it is crucial to develop suitable tools that allow main stakeholders to build, share, and apply experiences and lessons learned from previous crises. In this way, mistakes could be avoided and best practices could be replicated. Virtual Communities of Practice (VCoPs) provide an ideal platform that allows groups of people concerned about the same topic to share and increase their knowledge and expertise. This paper describes the findings obtained during the development of a VCoP within a project funded by the European Commission. This VCoP involves multidisciplinary stakeholders from several organizations and nationalities, and has the objective to contribute to the knowledge sharing of lessons learned and best practices in the emergency preparedness and recovery for earthquakes, floods, and fires. The paper describes the barriers that limit the members of the VCoP to sharing lessons learned and best practices identified in three disaster scenario based workshops. Furthermore, it explains the functionalities for the technological platform of the VCoP to overcome these barriers validated by the VCoP members in a case study.

TRL of the proposed solution - Innovation stage (if applicable) Not applicable

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published in 2014

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