The management structures for RESILENS comprise several governance bodies: Work Packages (WP) leaders, the General Assembly (GA), the Executive Board (EB) and the Advisory Board (AB), as illustrated above.
The General Assembly (GA) is responsible for the overall success of RESILENS. The GA consists of 1 senior representative from each Partner in the Consortium, who is authorised to make decisions on their organisation’s behalf to avoid any unnecessary delays. The GA has two primary project management functions: executive and administrative. The GA meets twice a year routinely.
To make best use of resource we also held our Executive Board (EB) meeting at the same time. The Executive board is made up of the Coordinator and each Work Package leader and oversees the project, with responsibility for project management, decision making, and monitoring progress and maintaining high quality in the project works. The Executive Board reports to the General Assembly and meets twice a year to supplement monthly conference calls.
The last GA/EB was in Lisbon, hosted jointly by our three Portuguese project partners:
- Factor Social (FS)
- Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, Lisbon City Council
- EDP Distribuição (EDPD)
During the Executive Board and General Assembly meetings, there were many opportunities for rich and productive discussion and debate, to inform and guide RESILENS project development. Of particular focus this meeting was ‘What is Resilience?’ and the synergies and differences between ‘Resilience’ and ‘Risk Assessment and Risk Management’. Rich discussion also took place on the importance of Resilience not just within Critical Infrastructure organisations but crucially between Critical Infrastructure Providers during times of crises and disaster. At these times, when an organisation’s ability to cope with the emergency is most tested, they most need to work closely and communicate with other critical infrastructure providers including emergency responders, as well as update and reassure the general public.
During the RESILENS project, we will develop interactive tools and learning materials to support this range of stakeholders and also the important links between providers, to develop their resilience preparedness, prevention, protection, responsiveness and recovery. For example, an organisation’s risk management system may have already identified ‘loss of all senior management personnel’ as a risk and mitigated this by booking them on separate flights when they are travelling. However, how does an organisation prepare and cope in the unfortunate situation where it loses all its senior management, despite the risk mitigations in place? How does that organisation develop its staff and systems to work flexibly during times of disaster? What systems does it have in place to support its staff to cope physically and psychologically, to respond, deliver a service, communicate with a range of stakeholders, get through the crises and recover?
RESILEN’s current focus is identifying state of the art international resilience practices, to inform our gap analysis and develop a range of interactive tools including:
Our RESILENS European Resilience Management Guideline (ERMG)
An interactive, web based, Resilience Decision Support Platform (RES-DSP), hosting a range of Resilience Management Matrix and Audit tools. This will be tested through pilot demonstrations which will allow multiple simulated testing events and will address the entire life-cycle of a crisis/disaster involving a man-made threat or natural disaster.
Within the RES-DSP will be an integrated multi-agency CONcept of OPerationS framework (CONOPS) focusing on the roles of the various stakeholders, their interactions, critical dependencies, use of resources and knowledge requirements. This will include the roles and activities of emergency responders, utilities providers, infrastructure managers and public administration as well as examining the role of the citizen in terms of achieving and maintaining resilience
Within the RES-DSP we will also develop an interactive RESILENS e learning hub, supported by a range of training materials and workshop based e learning (face to face and virtual) for rescuers. Through the ERMG, we will provide a solid foundation on which future regulatory standards for application across all Critical Infrastructures sectors may be formulated.
During our time in Lisbon, we also had an opportunity to visit Lisbon City Council and EDP to see their work in action, understand further their needs as Critical Infrastructure Providers and explore the resources and systems they already have in place for resilience and their work with the general public.
Our very attentive hosts the two days beautifully, providing us with a taste of the wonderful Portuguese hospitality and a chance to see a little of Lisbon during late summer, after 2 very full meeting days.