However the disruptive nature of such moves is such that they may in fact

However the disruptive nature of such moves is such

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However, the disruptive nature of such moves is such that they may in fact severely constrain institutional learning capacity, and create new vulnerabilities or reinforce old ones. 8. Training for enhanced skills . An important area of application of crisis management research is in training (Stern and Sundelius, 2002). Since major crises are rare but highly consequential, training is a pivotal substitute for personal experience and collective memory. All branches and levels of the crisis management system need to be educated, probed and challenged on a regular and frequent basis. Training programmes should be tailor-made and address a range of areas, including: risk assessment; risk management; principles of planning and preparedness; the organization of command, control, and decision making; interorganizational communication and coordination; public information; media relations; coping with stress and collective behaviour; trauma and recovery; litigation; evaluation and learning. Such training programmes should involve a combination of conventional lectures, case study analyses, joint scenario development, role- playing simulations, and full-scale exercises. These programs would have to be planned and executed in close coordination with the expertise assembled in the relevant national and EU-based management centres. The above eight agenda items will only be successfully implemented when issues of risk, security, safety and crisis management attain a firm commitment on the part of the heads of local, national, and EU-level public authorities. Without top-level determination and support, crisis 19
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management preparedness is likely to remain a marginal activity in most societies, where other more pressing issues appear far more urgent. The required commitment should take three forms: appropriate levels of resource allocation; personal modelling of involvement (e.g. in participation in exercises); and insistence on rigorous quality assurance practices. The latter is often overlooked, yet vital. It introduces accountability in a normally obscure and ’technical’ area that only comes under scrutiny after disasters have occurred. Audits as well as lesson-drawing exercises based on comparative analysis of experiences in other jurisdictions force the crisis management fraternity to explain why the system looks the way it does, and to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of current arrangements. They generate new insights that can make the system more resilient. Conclusions In the fifteen years since we published the original agenda, international social science research on risks and crises has proliferated. It has generated a wealth of observations, generalizations and lessons. In our countries, researchers work in partnership with public authorities to upgrade national and EU-level contingency planning and crisis preparedness. This involves a range of activities, including first-hand observations and in-depth evaluations of major crisis management operations, assistance in risk assessment and crisis planning, and extensive training and exercise programs. Such forms of knowledge transfer are essential to facilitate organizational learning, and
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