Work package 6: Civil protection and security

Research questions/focus

The work package analyses organizational learning and innovation processes in crisis management in the course of the COVID19 pandemic. The aim of the study is to analyse selected organizations from the following European countries:

  • Austria
  • Italy
  • Sweden
  • Germany
  • Switzerland

The study will examine how the Corona crisis was handled in their regions and countries. Discussions with experts from the organizations will focus on competencies as well as "good practices" or particularly innovative approaches to crisis management. The results of the project are expected to provide direct added value for practice in dealing with future risks and crises.


The work package addresses actors in the field of emergency response at the level of administrations and emergency response organizations. It is based on the framework developed in work package 2 and the detailed methodological guidelines. The guiding questions for the study are:

  1. learning processes: What did the organizations reviewed learn in the course of crisis management?
  2. resilience: Which skills, experiences and resources made a particular contribution to the resilience of the organization? What competencies were already in place before the crisis or were newly built during the crisis?
  3. collaborations: What contribution does the interaction of different organisations have on successful crisis management? What are the conditions for successful cooperation?

These analyses serve as a basis for the formulation of recommendations for action in the area of emergency response systems.


Step 1: Definition of the analysis grid

Based on preliminary work by the participating institutes, the countries to be considered are selected. From this, a mapping of the research field is made. Necessary approaches are identified and established. The result of this step is a general description of the population protection and hazard prevention systems in the target countries.

Step 2: Qualitative interview study with selected experts in the target countries. The sampling is oriented towards the administrative and hazard prevention systems.

Based on the preliminary work of the first step, experts* will be interviewed about their experiences in the context of the Covid 19 pandemic. The work includes deriving the interview questionnaire, conducting, transcribing and analysing the interviews conducted.

Step 3: Processing of the results

From the previous steps, the results will be summarized and cross-checked. These are then compared with the current state of science and technology. From this, scientific publications are prepared and published at conferences and/or in relevant journals.

Fraunhofer IAO

How will people work and live in the future? Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO research this and similar questions and apply their findings in a results-oriented manner. The experts design the interplay of people, technology and organisation holistically and customised. Fraunhofer IAO supports companies and institutions in recognising the potential of new technologies, using them profitably and opening up attractive future markets. The research institute cooperates closely with the Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart. Both institutes employ around 650 staff and have roundabout 15,000 m2 of office space, demonstration centres, development and test laboratories.

Expected results

During the crisis, it was mainly the emergency response systems at the strategic level that were challenged. The question arises on how the different civil protection systems coped with the crisis. The aim is to lay the first foundations for future innovation and research needs. In addition, the effects and reactions of the emergency response systems in Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany will be compared with each other in order to draw conclusions about different approaches, possible best practices or potential for improvement.

work package 1

Project management

work package 2

Research data management

work package 3

Political decisions for the containment of the Corona pandemic

work package 4

Economy and Society

work package 5

International innovation networks

work package 7

Application-oriented research

work package 8

Recommendations for action