The Role of Interoperability for the Management of the Refugee Flow (ATINER Conference, March 2016)

The on-going refugee flow is a big challenge for Europe and especially for multiple southern countries and subsequently for target destinations such as Austria and Germany. Many spontaneous volunteers provide help to the huge number of refugees. They organised their work partly intuitively, through social media or similar tools, and often guided by NGOs such as the Red Cross or Caritas. The media has often been full with negative contributions showing us how overstrained our society is with such a challenge. This experience shows that we have to reappraise this on-going challenge and perform research in that area. Exchange of information between different actors is very important for a smooth and successful management of any type of crisis. This applies to the crossing of a state border, for checking the health of the refugees, for supplying food and clothing as well as organising transport means and the provision of shelter. In the frame of the FP7 project EPISECC an expert system was developed to analyse systematically the information exchange between crisis managers. First interviews (using the mentioned expert system) of crisis managers in Austria dealing with the refugee crisis in the period late August to late October 2015 have shown that the exchange of information between mainly tactical and strategic actors was often limited, which is influenced by state as well as by organisational borders and limited harmonisation of processes. Informal channels often helped preparing for the next stage of crisis management. In this contribution a concept for a systematic analysis of processes for information exchange in the management of the refugee crisis will be elaborated. Systematic and quantitative analysis of the data from the interviews will be presented, while ensuring the requirements of data protection.

Publication date: 
Contact Person, Main Author: 
Georg Neubauer
ATINER's Conference Paper Series - MDT2016-2165