IT support for crisis management training
Today's society must be prepared to manage a complex threat scenario. In order to attain good emergency management, it is essential to practice organization and its employees.
Traditional crisis exercise methods, with physical meetings, is costly and time consuming to plan and conduct causing many organizations practice too little and with too few people. Together with colleagues at the university and external actors, we develop therefore a concept for IT-based crisis training, where employees can practice through a web interface at a time and place that suits the individual participant.
In 2014 we conducted a study to identify which needs for change that exist within the area. The study shows that there is great interest in developing new digital tools which enable both joint exercises such as individual training that can be performed more frequently, in a short time and in "daily life". The aim of the research is in close interaction with the needs of owners, companies and other researchers designing digital, mobile tools and training methods for future crisis exercises.
In 2015 time was spent on two application for grants for (a) prototype, (b) an Interreg project together with Norwegian actors. Both were successful. (a) had the County Administrative Board as project owner. (b) was led by Monika Magnusson at the Information Systems department. And later on we secured funding for a second Interreg project.
2016-2018 ran the Interreg project CriseIT - Preparing for Future Crisis Management. 2019-2021 ran the Interreg project CriseIT 2 - Partners:Implementing Future Crisis Management Training
Web site criseit.org/about-criseit/
Karlstad University (project owner), Innland Norway University of Applied Sciences, and regional and municipal governance bodies, and some companies.
Our vision is to develop a cost-efficient, and flexible crisis exercise concept which creates safety in Inner Scandinavia – now and in the future.The CriseIT group aims to develop tools, methods, and educational material enabling this. The envisioned new forms of training support are meant to supplement traditional exercises by adding virtual tools that make it possible to practice crisis management “anywhere and anytime” via computers, tablets, and smartphones. This will provide the conditions needed to practice more often, with more persons involved, and in shorter sessions.
Primarily, the deliverables are directed to civil servants and politicians having responsibility for the crisis management and readiness in an area. It should also be possible to include other groups – professionals and public – in some of the exercises. The results of the will support joint (but asynchronous) exercising across organisational and national borders, but also individuals’ training of their own roles will be supported. The research have been financed by the involved partners with additional funding from “Interreg Sweden-Norway".
The goals of the projects are to provide:
- a ‘needs map’ for asynchronous IT-based joint exercises and individual training
- software to support the entire process from the definition of exercises to evaluating how they were conducted
- a web service offering tools for joint exercises and individual training
- a method that supports an effective application of the IT tools for planning, conducting, and evaluating exercises
- a parallel method that supports collaborative learning processes to adapt to changing threats, such as climate change
- educational material that facilitates the use of methods and tools