New method for evaluation of crisis communication in exercises – involve the public

Sofie Ivarsson

ABSTRACT

In 2014, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) carried out a comprehensive crisis communication multi-sector exercise. To evaluate communication in exercises there is a need for involving the public as they are the primary target group in most crises. Systematically involving the public in evaluation of exercises has only been done a few times in Sweden and there are no known international attempts. We therefore developed a method where a representative sample of 2 000 persons was drawn from the Swedish population register and invited to assess communication during the exercise. The so-called “Public Network” finally consisted of 99 people who contributed extensively with 395 assessment questionnaires. This paper describes the method, the results and experiences. We encourage other organizations to involve the public in exercises for evaluation purposes. The results show that there is a willingness among the public to contribute to the development of crisis preparedness.

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