CARISMAND Project aims to deal with the issues of preparedness, response to disasters and after-crisis recovery which is inevitably influenced by cultural background of individuals and the society they live in. In this context culture is understood as the characteristics of a particular group of people defined by everything from a set of values, history, literature, language, religion to cuisine, social habits or music and arts. Cultural factors play an important role in determining the way people response to stress, engage in crisis management and accept disaster relief in an emergency. However, these factors could also negatively impact the professional response to disaster because of the lack of cultural understanding, sensitivity and competencies as well as due to lack of understanding of the cultural background of the victims of a disaster. The project addresses risks as non-objective but socially and culturally constructed. Thus, disaster management which is aware, respects, and makes use of local cultural aspects will be not only more effective but, at the same time, also improve the community’s disaster coping capacities.
CARISMAND is set out to identify these factors, to explore existing gaps and opportunities for improvement of disaster policies and procedures, and to develop a comprehensive toolkit which will allow professional as well as voluntary disaster managers to adopt culturally-aware everyday practices. This goal will be achieved by approaching the links, the gaps between disaster management, culture and risk perception from the broadest possible multi-disciplinary perspective and, at the same time, by developing a feedback-loop between disaster management stakeholders and citizens to establish, test, and refine proposed solutions for culturally-informed best practices in disaster management.
Further information on this project may be found here: http://www.carismand.eu/
Further information on the SMURD Foundation involvement in this project may be found here: http://www.carismand.eu/fundatia-pentru-smurd-smurd-romania.html