How civil institutions build resilience

This report presents a literature review intended to facilitate the identification of appropriate steps that organizations and communities could take to increase their resilience, particularly with limited resources. The lessons learned provide some general guidelines for optimizing resource investment while assuring continued and successful operations. An organization can identify which of these measures are most appropriate and accessible based on resource availability, expected threats, organizational and operational restrictions, and mission requirements.

Key findings of this publication underline that:

High-risk operations illustrate best practices and lessons learned even for organizations with low risk tolerance.
Adaptability and flexibility should be measured and evaluated as an important metric for resilience.
Following a disaster, both prior experience and trained personnel can help to minimize recovery time.
The report identifies factors that foster resilience:

Information sharing and shared awareness of mission can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of operations both during and following a threat event.
Clear reporting structures and cultures that support error reporting allow an organization to develop more resilient operations by incorporating lessons from previous errors.
Appropriate balance between flexible personnel with distributed decision-making and specialized personnel with centralized decision-making facilitates better coordination and rapid responses during crises.
Accurate and comprehensive risk-assessment methods allow both better system design for resilience, and better planning for withstand, adapt, and recover strategies and phases.
Training for specific threats while maintaining flexibility in response procedures is a challenge, but meeting this challenge will help an organization to address both known and unknown threats.