The COBACORE project is now finished. For further information, please contact Technical Coordinator Martijn Neef… https://t.co/ssLEI6IJiD
The COBACORE project’s final evaluation took place at the Akademie für Krisenmanagement, Notfallplanung und Zivilschutz (AKNZ), in Ahrweiler, Germany. The exercise was the last in a series of real-life simulations of the platform and concept to test its capabilities and limitations.
Consortium partners the German Red Cross (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz) and the Netherlands Red Cross (Nederlandse Rode Kruis) ran the exercise with volunteers from both countries. The Mayor of Brüggen, Frank Gellen, also attended and joined the ranks of the ‘Responding Professionals’ on the German side with some colleagues.
The scenario in which the COBACORE platform and concept were tested was a simulated earthquake in the German town of Brüggen. The earthquake caused substantial damage to the infrastructure which led to a series of escalating problems that the volunteers and professionals had to collaborate to solve.
Some of the issues that the groups worked to address were a castle whose walls were crumbling, endangering its inhabitants (who included children with special needs), the explosion of a truck on a busy road, a chemical spill and the alarming news that a venomous snake had escaped from Brüggen Zoo!
At the end of the exercise, the groups convened to share their feedback. They all felt COBACORE could work in a ‘real world’ situation subject to some enhancements which the COBACORE development team are since closely considering.
The Affected Community would like to have been able to contact Municipal Governments directly though the platform and felt business needs should be kept separate from individuals.
Suggestions from the Responding Communities included adding processes for the verification of users to the platform, a news ticker (similar to those seen on the bottom of TV screens) that updates when an issue is solved and a way to feed a situation report back to the group.
The Responding Professionals from both Germany and The Netherlands found it a useful platform and agreed with the situation report idea, adding that the option to send a photo would be invaluable. They thought that categories of needs could be more clearly defined, and would like to see who was currently working to fulfil each need. Discussions about ownership, and how the concept could work in times where there is no crisis, were also raised.
All groups thought the roles of the Field Officer and the Community Liaison Team were vital for effective functioning and the importance of marketing COBACORE as a complete package with training for roles was also highlighted.
At the end of the scenario, the groups wanted to have another round of solving problems using the platform! They had met many needs in the post-earthquake chaos, and to everyone’s relief the missing snake was eventually found.
‘In the past two days we have covered roofs, built fences, trapped zoo animals, rescued stranded passengers, cleared fallen trees, cleaned up a kindergarten as well as countless other things.
The multi-day exercise is over and one thing is certain: it will make it easier to work with people affected as well as help professionals to work more effectively, because the aid arrives where it is needed.
THANK YOU to the COBACORE team. It was exhausting, but also a lot of fun! Good luck with the project and we hope to see you again soon!’