Capacity building for popular involvement in emergency response

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review


This presentation regards the development of capacity to involve citizens as
spontaneous volunteers in emergency response in Denmark. Capacity building is an
ongoing process drawing on existing resources in the organisation undergoing the
development (Jensen & Krogstrup, 2017, p. 59 p). In this understanding, the project
presented is a step on the way in a participatory turn (Strandh, 2019).
Emergency response is not a single organisation in Denmark but rather a family of
organisations working together in response, which makes this case of capacity building
atypical. Police and emergency management organisations are “close relatives” in the
family as lead actors in emergency response. Some are more “distant cousins” as
emergency management in a wider perspective is done according to a principle of
sectoral authority, in principle involving alle public sectors, private and civil society
actors. However, the capacity has to be build for the “family” to be able to perform
together, rather than for the enhancement of a particular branch of the family.
In this context, a capacity building project, understood as the enhancement of the
emergency management systems ability to engage citizens as spontaneous volunteers
in emergency response (Jensen & Krogstrup, 2017, p. 58 p) has been undertaken as a
joint venture by the Danish Red Cross and the University College Copenhagen in the
period 2020-2023.
The need for capacity building, and the driver of the Danish Red Cross as an actor
taking the initiative in this field is based on:
- The framework for emergency response with spontaneous volunteers in Denmark is
not very well-described.
- Experience of spontaneous volunteer involvement in emergency response in
Denmark is scarce, and there is no systematic capacity building based on the
experience so far.
- Danish Red Cross is aiming at rebuilding its capacity to contribute to emergency
Research contributions in the project is a remedy for the lack of systematic capacity
development and systematic collection of experience from relevant Danish cases. The
research contributions aim is to establish a firm foundation for the initiatives. and
contribute to the development of a best-practice approach for the Danish context, as
this must necessarily be developed for each country specifically (Paciarotti &
Cesaroni, 2020). The research contributes to proposals on how to integrate
spontaneous volunteers, where (that is in which branch of the family) they should be
integrated, and who should be the practitioners of involvement.
StatusUdgivet - 2023
BegivenhedNEEDS CONFERENCE 2023: BUILDING DISASTER RESILIENT SOCIETIES : Northern European Emergency and Disaster Studies Conference - University of Twente, Enschede, Holland
Varighed: 31 okt. 20232 nov. 2023


LokationUniversity of Twente