Culture and disaster risk management - synthesis of stakeholder attitudes during 3 Stakeholder Assemblies in Romania, Italy and Portugal

Sandra Appleby-Arnold, Noellie Brockdorff

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This report provides a synthesis of the results of three CARISMAND Stakeholder Assemblies held in A) Bucharest,Romania on April 14-15, 2016; B) Rome,Italy on February 27-28, 2017; and C) Lisbon,Portugal on February 27-28, 2018. These Stakeholder Assemblies, together with six Citizen Summits (see Deliverables D5.3 – D5.9) were part of the CARISMAND cycle of events (see Figure 1 below). This cycle of events was the key concept at the core of the CARISMAND project which aimed to ensure a comprehensive feedback loop betweendisaster practitioners and citizens. It also allowed for the progression of ideas co-created by disaster practitioners and citizens. The locations of the three Stakeholder Assemblies were chosen due to their rather different “backgrounds”. The three countries had been struck at the time of the respective event by different types of disasters. In addition, the three countries have very different “cultures”, or cultural impacts, at a societal level. Romania has a comparatively strong authoritative systems due to its political history; Italy has experienced a strong direct in-flow of migrants in the last years due to its geological location; and Portugal has long been a traditional “melting pot” where, over more than a millennium, people from different cultural backgrounds and ethnic origins (in particular North Africa, South America, and Europe) have lived together. Accordingly, these differences were expected to allow a wide range of practitioners’ attitudes and perceptions related to cultural factors in disaster management to emerge. In order to not only gather a variety of attitudes and perceptions but also promote cross-sectional knowledge transfer, the audience in all three events consisted of a wide range of practitioners who are typically involved in disaster management, e.g., civil protection agencies , the emergency services, paramedics, nurses, environmental protection agencies, the Red Cross, firefighters, the military, and the police. Further, these practitioners were from several regions in the respective country; in Portugal, the Stakeholder Assembly also included practitioners from the island of Madeira. The 40-60 participants per event were recruited via invitations sent to various organisations and institutions that play a role in disaster management, and via direct contacts of local partners in the CARISMAND consortium. Each assembly consisted of a mix of presentations and discussion groups to combine dissemination with information gathering (for detailed schedules see Appendices A1-A3). In an initial general assembly, the event started with presentations of the CARISMAND project and its main goals and concepts. Then, participants were split into small working groups in separate breakout rooms, where they discussed and provided feedback on a specific topic. After each working group session, panel discussions allowed the participants to present the results of their working group to the rest of the audience. After each panel discussion, keynote speakers gave presentations related to the topic that had been discussed during the working groups. This schedule was designed to ensure that participants are provided with detailed information about recent developments in disaster management, but without influencing the attitudes and perceptions expressed in the working groups. In the third Stakeholder Assembly, different sets of recommendations for practitioners (related to the use of cultural factors in disaster management) were presented to the general audience, followed by small discussion group sessions as described above.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • emergency management
  • disaster relief
  • civil defense readiness


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