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Project start ATLAS-ENGAGE: Civil Society Involvement in Population Protection

News from Dec 02, 2021

On December 1, 2021, the kick-off for the project "Atlas of Civil Society Engagement in Population Protection - Societal Changes and Involvement in Authorities and Organizations with Security Tasks" took place. The ATLAS-ENGAGE project is funded by the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, technically supported by the Federal Agency for Technical Relief, conducted by the Disaster Research Unit, and assisted by a number of other stakeholders.


Project background and project aims

For several years, population protection has been under multiple pressures to adapt: with globalization, societal change and climate change, hazard and operational situations are also changing. At the same time, traditional volunteer structures are losing importance due to social transformation processes, while new, more flexible forms of engagement, e.g. so-called unattached helpers, spontaneous helpers or digital volunteers, are increasing. The ATLAS-ENGAGE project examines different approaches from research and practice for dealing with these challenges. Therefore, a structured evaluation with regard to their suitability for operational practices in various authorities and organizations with security tasks is conducted. For this purpose, a meta-analytical approach is pursued, which, enriched by expert interviews, develops a typology for different forms of engagement. With the help of scenario techniques, relevant societal trends and influences on volunteerism are explored. Within the framework of a survey-based SWOT analysis, the integration of different types of engagement in possible operational contexts will be reflected and corresponding recommendations for action will be derived. The goal is a comprehensive, research-based and practice-oriented atlas with future perspectives on civil society engagement in population protection against the background of societal changes, risk trends and institutional characteristics of different authorities and organizations with security tasks.

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