First Response Mechanisms, Fake News and Crisis Communication

Insights into the South East Europe (SEE) Crisis Management Working Group

Photo: Anne - Adobe Stock

Working group of crisis management, consisting of urban practitioners from 14 municipalities across 9 countries: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine, commenced its work on 20th September 2021 with Kick-off meeting.

Considering that this initiative comes as part of Connective Cities COVID-19 Programme and its objective is to support cities’ resilience during and after COVID-19, working group had embarked on a journey of rigorous analysis and discussions on matters and issues most relevant to their realities, worsened due to pandemic.

Process of work for the group consisted of homework being prepared for each session, depicting various scenarios of crises, disasters, their solution schemes as well as plans that could have been internalized by institutions for future preparedness.

During the session’s topics of Disaster Risk Reduction, First Response Mechanisms, Fake News and Crisis Communication were featured as important structures and knowledge basis for participants to take into account in their everyday works.

As work in the sessions continued, group members had jointly worked on the list of challenges, they considered important, such as lack of resources invested in piloting of appropriate technologies, contingency plans or in support of most vulnerable groups or even establishments such as SMEs. After compiling a comprehensive catalogue of challenges, participants were asked to focus on coming up with initiatives that would come as interventions dealing with issues indexed before. Participants were later using S.M.A.R.T. scheme for assessment of initiatives and solutions they have come forward with.

As a consequence of this series of workshops on guided peer-to-peer exchange, involved urban practitioners gained, tremendous experience in coming up with action plans, they learned methods and outlets of effective crisis communications, while also gaining some theoretical practice in potential risk and loss assessment.

Sessions in Retrospect

Working Group has met on four occasions, allowing members to present their initiatives, projects and thoughts on establishing elaborate crisis response mechanisms in their respective municipalities.

Workshop I: identification of crisis management, resilience and Covid-19 response challenges

Workshop II: analysis and definition of the challenges based on experiences, knowledge transfer and international discussion

Workshop III Crisis Management Southeast Europe (SEE): Prioritisation and solutions scan

Workshop IV Crisis Management in Southeast Europe (SEE): Identification of cities’ future initiative


Explanatory video about the workshops


Elene Samukashvili, Connective Cities

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