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Project concludes with final event in Brussels

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On 7 February, the consortium of ADAPT came together in Brussels for their final international event.

img_0018The overall results of the projects were presented, including the ADAPT-DB software, which helps to make relevant data about people with special needs in emergency evacations usable for rescue workers. However, the main focus of the event was the community-based management approach, which the local stakeholders from the implementing communities developed from their experiences on the local level. The official guideline document on community-based management of data based disaster prevention for vulnerable groups was introduced at the event and is since available on the project website.


(l.t.r.) Maria Gasser Fink, mayor of Klausen; Kerstin Schöniger, mayor of Rodewisch (Vogtland County); Biljana Zuber, European Commission DG ECHO; Giuseppe Merlino, vice mayor of Saponara; Ivo Bonamico, Secretary General of SAM.I.

Representatives of the municipalities that supported the project were also present and, together with the national project coordinators, reported about the implementation on their local level and how it improves their local disaster resilience for vulnerable groups.

Ms Biljana Zuber, from the European Commission’s DG ECHO, was a guest speaker at the event and informed the consortium about the upcoming call for prevention and preparedness projects that may be an option for follow-ups to ADAPT.

The project will remain active in the implementing communities beyond the project timeframe, which officially ends at the end of February. Data collection will continue and in some place, public stakeholders have committed to delivering additional data in the near future.

The guideline document can be found in the Documents section.


Pictures: Markus Trocker, WK


ADAPT project gathers stakeholder feedback at meeting in Klausen

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adapt_bz2_02From 28 to 30 September 2016, the ADAPT project conducted its fourth international workshop in Klausen and Bolzano, Italy. The main goal oft he meeting was to gather stakeholder input on the „community-based management approach“, which will be key in sustaining the project after the regular project cycle.

adapt_bz2_01All partners implementing an instance of „ADAPT-DB“, the project’s data system to support the evacuation of vulnerable groups of people, had sent local stakeholders to Bolzano. They brought together their thoughts on how to handle the project’s implementation administratively, after all having conducted the first steps at home, according to their local circumstances.

The community-based management approach will be published as a guideline document to help additional communities to develop a locally working concept for the administrative tasks ADAPT entails. The document will gather the challenges faced by the implementing organisations, their approaches to solutions and the success of these approaches.

At the town hall meeting (Picture: Astrid Coyne-Jensen)


(Picture: Astrid Coyne-Jensen)

The meeting in Klausen was also an excellent opportunity for the partners to watch one local approach in action. The local project partner White Cross had called interested citizens and additional local stakeholder to a townhall meeting. There, the locals were introduced to the project and the planned way of implementation in Klausen and South Tyrol. The vice mayor of Klausen, Mr. Stefan Deporta, expressed his support for ADAPT and the commitment of the municipal authorities to the project.

The project will now proceed to finalise the ADAPT-DB and the guideline document on community-based management within the remainder of the year. The conclusion of ADAPT is scheduled for February 2016.


Discussion with civil protection authorities and progress on database in Denmark

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From 9-11 March 2016, the project ADAPT met in Nykøbing, Denmark for their third international workshop. The project partners learned about the Danish civil protection system and made progress on the project’s two main tiers – the ADAPT data platform and the community-based management approach to use it on the local level.


The meeting, hosted by Danish project partner DPA in their head offices, was a special case for the project group, as DPA play a different role in the project compared to the other operative partners. While Denmark also does not have a specialised data platform for information as ADAPT is putting it together, they have a system of ad-hoc coordination in which data exchange can take place. Since the Danish civil protection system is an almost exclusively state-led and state-conducted effort, direct involvement of the project in the system was not possible for the consortium of NGOs. Still, an exchange about challenges and approaches to solutions to best helping vulnerable people in case of mass evacuations is being conducted as part of the project.


Mr. Peter Søe, Chief Fire Officer for the Lolland-Falster region of Denmark, introduced the international partners to the local system. They proceeded to discuss different challenges in evacuating vulnerable groups of people, how these challenges are solved in Denmark and how the approaches the partners have to take in their local communities differ.

The project group also reviewed the first preview version of the ADAPT data platform, which was developed according to the specifications the group agreed upon at earlier meetings. Further development steps will be taken in the next months, with particular focus on integration with pre-existing local systems.

Besides the data platform, the workshop was also used to set the groundwork for the community-based management approach, which will be the focus of the last international workshop in September. The partners have begun authoring the guideline document, which will help other organisations and communities to learn from the ADAPT project’s experience and transfer the results.


Progress on data platform in Saponara, Sicily

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ADAPT_WS_Sicily_11-2015_1From 18-20 November 2015, the project partners met in Saponara, Sicily, to continue the conceptualisation of a data platform to improve the support of vulnerable people in case of emergency evacuations.

The second workshop took place in the operational centre of the local branch of ANPAS, one of the Italian project partners. The choice of locale underlined the significance of the project for the participating communities: The very building in which the workshop was held was all but destroyed by a flood in 2011 and had been restored by the local hosts.

ADAPT_WS_Sicily_11-2015_2The first conceptual points for the ADAPT data platform were collected at the previous workshop in Bolzano earlier this year. In Saponara, the group discussed the open points in more detail. Since the last workshop, the project’s legal subcontractor had also worked out preliminary guidelines on open questions regarding data protection, which were also presented at the workshop. Local stakeholders such as disaster relief workers and municipal representatives from the participating communities participated in the exchange.

With the collected information from the workshop and technical contacts from the stakeholders, the project’s IT service provider will be working out a draft concept for the core data platform. This draft will once again be checked with the local levels, before a working preview will be created for the next workshop.

Besides the evaluation of the first version of the data platform, the next workshop will focus on the main non-technical challenge of the project: To enable the communities to collect and maintain high-quality information to be prepared for emergencies. This will include considerations about dissemination as well as shared maintenance responsibilities among public and private stakeholders on the ground in each of the participating communities.


Project group talks tech and legal challenges in Bolzano

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From 26-27 August, the project consortium of the ADAPT project met in Bolzano, Italy, to discuss first ideas about technical solutions as well as legal challenges.

At the first international workshop of the project, the consortium came together with representatives of the local action groups from the participating municipalities.

Together with external experts, they discussed the most pressing legal concerns associated with the plans of the project. Since a data platform for the support of vulnerable people in emergencies can be problematic from a data protection perspective, they debated exceptions that exist for public authorities in their role as organiser of civil protection prevention and preparedness. Regarding the data sources, they also talked about methods of data from non-public sources and prerequisites such as opt-in procedures for potential beneficiaries of the platform.

The related matter of data security was one important point in the session outlining the data platform from a technical perspective. Besides the usage of state-of-the-art encryption and security technology, the group agreed on the basic data scheme as well as desired functionality.

At the time of the workshop, not every local action group had defined a person responsible for technical matters. Such tech contacts are in the process of being defined and, once they are defined, will work out the concept for the database in further detail in collaboration with the project’s IT service provider.

The next workshop of the ADAPT project will take place in November in the participating community of Saponara in Sicily, Italy.



ADAPT defines participating communities

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The ADAPT project partners in BerlinOn 27th April 2015, the ADAPT project partners met in Berlin to discuss the improvement of disaster evacuation for people with disabilities.

The ADAPT project – Awareness of Disaster Prevention for vulnerable groups – which is co-financed by the European Commission’s DG ECHO, took up its work at the beginning of the year. Taking a local approach, the project will involve communities and municipalities in the operating areas of the participating Samaritan organisations to improve disaster relief for elderly and disabled people living in disaster risk zones.

At the meeting, the operative project partners ANPAS, ASB, DKFH and WK presented the results of their search for suitable participating communities, based on the selection criteria defined beforehand in collaboration with the project’s academic partner, the University of Rome Tor Vergata. The selection was based upon factors such as whether the community is in a disaster risk area, the population size and existing data sources and emergency plans.

ANPAS will participate with Saponara on Sicily, a community of about 5000 people, that is located in a risk area for flood as well as earthquakes.

ASB will collaborate with three small towns located in close proximity to each other within the Vogtland county in Eastern Germany, which was hit by the flood disaster of 2013. The area also has a relatively high frequency of emergency evacuations due to finds of unexploded ordnance from the second world war.

The participating community from DKFH will be Nakskov on the South-Danish island of Lolland. The town of 12000 inhabitants lies within one of the high-tide flooding risk areas officially identified as such by the Danish government.

WK has selected the city of Klausen in South Tyrol, population 5200. Due to the town’s geography in a valley and built on both banks of a stream, it is a flood risk zone in case of heavy rainfalls.

adapt_berlin_news_post_02_groupThe operative partners are now consolidating local stakeholders into action groups in the respective communities. As a next step, these action groups will hold local workshops, to begin the exchange of ideas and expertise on approaches for a data platform that will help relief workers evacuate vulnerable people in emergency situations. These preliminary local assessments will be brought together in an international workshop in late August. Technical experts will discuss the feasibility of their ideas with them and legal expertise will be present to find a suitable solution for the obvious data protection challenges the creation of such a platform holds.

Project kicked off – partners take up work

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SAM.I. and five partners kicked off their latest civil protection project ADAPT, which aims to improve disaster prevention for vulnerable people. After the official kick-off event in Brussels on 20th January, the group consisting of four Samaritan organisations and the University of Rome Tor Vergata as our research partner took up their work at a meeting in Frankfurt a.M., Germany.


At the kick-off event for the selected projects of the 2014 DG ECHO civil protection call for proposals

In disaster situations such as floods or earthquakes, the elderly or people with disabilities are particularly vulnerable and require additional attention. However, they are often neglected in existing municipal emergency plans, particularly if they live at home instead of in a care institution. During emergency evacuations, their location and special needs are often unknown to relief workers. The reason for this is not the lack of information, which exists as both formal and informal knowledge, but the lack of structure of this knowledge. ADAPT aims to alleviate this problem by making and keeping this information usable by involving the local communities themselves in improving this part of their disaster resilience. ADAPT is short for “Awareness of Disaster Prevention for vulnerable groups”. The project is co-financed by the European Commission’s DG ECHO.


The working group discussing the survey in Frankfurt

SAM.I. is joined by its member organisations ANPAS, ASB, DKFH and WK and the University of Rome Tor Vergata in implementing the project. The first step is to create a survey to gain an overview of existing sources of data as well as information on possible communities to participate in the project. The first working sesssion on 25th-26th January was used to specify the properties of this survey, as the operative partners and the research partner exchanged considerations from the practical and the scientific level. In the coming weeks, the survey will be finalised and used by the operative partners. By the time of the next meeting at the end of April, each partner will have gathered the necessary information to make an evidence-based decision on which community will participate in the project. In the next steps, local action groups will be formed. These groups, consisting of local stakeholders, will be key to the following community-based actions of the project.

The next meeting of the project steering group is scheduled for 27th April.

The slides of the presentation held at the official kick-off event in Brussels are available on the website of the European Commission.

The project working group in Frankfurt

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