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Increasing management capacity through better communication within the County Committee for Emergencies

Client

Timis County Council 

Challanges and objectives

The project addressed the specific problems faced by the County Committee for Emergencies and the Timis County Council in the management of emergency situations, namely:

  • Reduced operability of the actions of the public administration authorities in situations of disaster;
  • Delays in applying the measures required in case of emergencies by competent bodies. At the county level, these measures require an impressive number of local and central institutions, which leads to complex communication processes, generating delays;
  • Poor methods and procedures related to communication between institutions and with the citizens;
  • Lack of complex preparation of the population to face crisis caused by poor communication and lack of public consultation on this issue

Project specific objectives were:

  • Improved inter-institutional communication procedures in institutions with representation within the County Committee for Emergencies;
  • Implementation of an effective mechanism of communication with the citizens from the county when emergencies arise;
  • Training of 50 decision-making officials, as well as members of support groups and Permanent Secretariat of the County Committee for Emergencies regarding risk management and efficient communication in emergencies.
Solution

Within the context of natural disasters generating climate changes and rapid spread of epidemics and extremely dangerous epizootic (AH1N1, H5N1 viruses, for example), rose the necessity to implement a project designed to improve organizational efficiency and inter-institutional communication procedures in order to reduce county level risks, allowing: 

  • Creating a coherent framework for action to prevent and manage emergency situations generating risks;
  • Optimal placement and sizing of operative units;
  • Establishing strategies and complex intervention plans in emergency situations;
  • Correct allocation of the necessary resources.

Seeing as possible two options to improve the existing situation:

  1. implementing an efficient and sufficient communication system and
  2. providing services for complex analysis and development of procedures and processes of communication in emergency situations focusing on the human component

 in order to provide the right mechanisms and tools that enable efficient communication to develop a      “Comprehensive analysis and hedging plan”, we chose the second option.  

Optimizing inter-institutional communication procedures in the public organizations with representation in the County Committee for Emergency Situations has been an innovative approach in solving problems related to risk management at county level.

Only through better communication between institutions and citizens was possible to construct complex lists containing types of natural, technologic or biologic hazards, to determine the extent of their probability of occurrence, economic and social impact and also the manner in which these hazards affect the public health and environment. 

Deploying the project meant supply and delivery for the following goods and services: 

a. Research services, analysis and implementation of optimization procedures:

  • Analysis of existing procedures for inter-institutional communication and inter-data flows in the event of emergencies;
  • Inventory of necessary data to assess the probability of specific risks in areas of responsibility;
  • Implement procedures and optimized working processes.

b. Development of 4 training programs for employees:

  • Risk and uncertainties management
  • Decision making in emergency situations
  • Communications procedures in emergency situations
  • National operational standards

c. Training of 50 public officials with responsibilities in the inter-institutional communication for emergency situations;

d. Delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of a risk communication portal at county level – computing platform with the following components:

  • portal (external and internal) -  collaborative web portal, developed on web platform, thus ensuring a high speed for upload and response to the user’s requests;
  • risk register al local level that can be integrated with a GIS server;
  • procedures management system (data, documents and workflow) that provided definition and deployment of City Council’s work processes, users’ activity monitoring and documents’ management. 

 

Results
  • review of existing inter-institutional communication procedures and data flows among stakeholders in emergency situations;
  • analysis of work processes regarding identification and development of risk reduction measures based on impact and probability of occurrence, and also on prevention and intervention costs;  
  • set of conclusions and recommendations regarding optimization of emergency situations communications procedures, as well as optimization of risk management work processes;
  • new communication procedures implemented as result of consultancy services provided within the project;
  • “Risk and uncertainties management” training programme;
  • “Decision making in emergency situations” training programme;
  • “Communications procedures in emergency situations” training programme;  
  • “National and international operational standards regarding risk situations management” training programme;
  • training of 50 public officials with responsibilities in the inter-institutional communication for emergency situations (5 groups x 10 participants x 8 days/training group);
  • software component for public communication of risks at county level.