Started in May 2015, the €1.7 million, EU-funded, Collaboration and Support Action EDUCEN project aimed at establishing an European expert platform focusing on the role of culture in disaster management and risk. EDUCEN consortium consisted of 10 participant organizations from 7 different countries.
In the project, Centre for Systems Solutions was responsible for preparing policy exercises that were later used for EDUCEN case studies, and for other serious games related activities.
Central to the EDUCEN project was the idea that cultures, the ‘soft infrastructure’, hold important assets to disaster-affected communities; disaster managers and disaster-affected people alike. Our premise was that culture and cultural diversity are not just a challenge creating barriers, but are in fact reservoirs of assets that people have available to them to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, cope with and adapt to disaster risks– cognitively and practically.
The overarching aim of EDUCEN was to build on existing European networks and with them identify actions to build and support culture and cultural diversity. The networking and support actions, which were central in EDUCEN’s approach, were directed at increasing the effectiveness of DRR design by including culture as a valuable component in all phases of disaster risk management: prevention, mitigation, preparedness and response and reconstruction. This was expected to contribute to more resilient cities that would be able to meet the needs of their various cultures and subcultures during disaster relief, hopefully leading to a lower number of fatalities while also reducing reaction time when disaster strikes.
The project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 653874.