Natural Disaster Management - An analysis of the Ferrara Risk Management Network

Risk management, part of the risk analysis process, involves three public policies that are risk identification, risk reduction and disaster management. The management of an extreme event, such as an earthquake, is a complex and dynamic process that inevitably involves different organizations who need to coordinate themselves and work together to pursue the common goal to respond to the emergency in the best possible way. These organizations constitute the management network of the emergency, a complex and inter-organizational social system. The complexity of the management network and the characteristics of an extreme event make the emergency management more difficult.
In order to identify the network structures that would facilitate an effective disaster management, we studied the network of stakeholders involved in the management of the earthquake that affected the city of Ferrara in May 2012. In particular, we considered the characteristics of the emergency network, such as numerosity and cohesion, and the positions of the actors based on relational ties, such as centrality, in order to highlight strengths and weaknesses of the network. The risk management network was studied starting from legislative and technical documents, integrated with in-depth interviews with stakeholders who had a key role in the network. The network data collected from the interviews was analyzed using the UCINET 6.0 social network analysis software. The main results have been integrated with parts of the transcribed interviews.
Overall, the network of emergency management activated in Ferrara during the earthquake in 2012, has a complex structure characterized by many actors with different functions and roles. The network analysis highlighted that it has a poor level of cohesion and exploits very little of its relational potential. Some pairs of actors are isolated and a hierarchical communication and an asymmetric flow of information seems to prevail between some actors. The functioning of the network also appears to be driven mainly by the establishment of informal relations rather than by formal and pre-existing ones, a flexible operating way probably more suited to the management of an emergency that requires immediacy and rapid response. The population is the most popular actor of this network, however it has a passive role, seen exclusively as the recipient of the process of emergency management.
Several interventions, aimed to improve the functioning of the emergency management network, are proposed in this article.

Tipo Pubblicazione: 
Author or Creator: 
Ontario International Development Agency., Sudbury, Ont. , Canada
OIDA international journal of sustainable development 8 (2015): 95–104.
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Colì, E., Rissotto, A., Norcia, M./titolo:Natural Disaster Management - An analysis of the Ferrara Risk Management Network/doi:/rivista:OIDA international journal of sustainable development/anno:2015/pagina_da:95/pagina_a:104/in
Resource Identifier:
ISTC Author: 
Ritratto di Elisa Colì
Real name: 
Ritratto di Maurizio Norcia
Real name: