The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has joined the MCR2030 initiative as a supporting entity. MCR2030 is UNDRR’s flagship program, building on the achievement of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign that began in 2010. It welcomes cities, local governments, and all parties who wish to support cities along the resilience roadmap.
The IOM Regional Office for the MENA region has developed the Urban Diagnostic Toolkit to map gaps in migrants’ integration in urban settings, aimed at increasing urban resilience of migrants, refugees, displaced persons, host societies and local governments by strengthening migrants’ social cohesion in the spatial, institutional, economic, climate and resilience city systems.
Increasingly, IOM and UNDRR collaborate across a range of workstreams from high level policy engagement related to the Sendai Framework for DRR’s Midterm Review process, the Global Platform for DRR and Regional DRR Platforms, and more recently on the Early Warning for All Initiative, COP27 and the Center of Excellence for Disaster and Climate Resilience, which IOM recently joined as a member of the Steering Committee. Partnership also extends to technical cooperation on the implementation of the annual workplan of the Senior Leadership Group for DRR for Resilience inclusive of work to mainstream DRR into humanitarian action. IOM is also supporting UNDRR’s leadership on the development and roll out of Risk Information Exchange and the creation of a second-generation disaster loss accounting platform to replace DesInventar. The latter was recently dialogued under the leadership of UNDRR-UNDP-WMO at the Bonn Technical Expert Forum meeting in late November.
This is the beginning of a new collaboration between the two UN agencies. UNDRR warmly welcomes the new MCR partner to work jointly on paving the road for increasing migrants’ resilience in urban contexts.
MRC2030 is a unique cross-stakeholder initiative for improving local resilience through advocacy, sharing knowledge and experiences, establishing mutually reinforcing city-to-city learning networks, injecting technical expertise, connecting multiple layers of government, and building partnerships. Through delivering a clear roadmap to urban resilience, providing tools, access to knowledge, and monitoring and reporting tools, MCR2030 will support cities on their journey to reduce risk and build resilience.
Please find here your downloadable copy of the Winter 2022-23 issue of Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience News for the latest views and news at www.cip-association.org/CIPRNews.
- A Standard to help protect Critical Infrastructure
- Government and Industry Cooperation: More Important Than Ever for Cybersecurity Awareness
- Help2Protect: an eLearning program to counter Insider Threats
- Testing Environments Help S&T and CISA Secure Transportation Infrastructure
- Can responsible AI guidelines keep up with the technology?
- Infrastructure Resilience Planning Framework (IRPF)
- An Interview with Port of New Orleans
- Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience North America Preview
- Industry and Agency Reports and News
Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience News is the official magazine of the International Association of Critical Infrastructure Protection Professionals (IACIPP), a non-profit organisation that provides a platform for sharing good practices, innovation and insights from Industry leaders and operators alongside academia and government and law enforcement agencies.
In a handbook from the Joint Research Centre brings together scientists, experts and academia for a book that dives deep into how open public spaces can be planned and built in a more secure way, through security by design.
“Security by Design: Protection of public spaces from terrorist attacks” introduces the concept and practical implementation of building security in the design and redesign of public spaces. It does so while providing information on terrorism risk assessment, project planning and management. It proposes innovative technical solutions for the protection of public spaces against terrorist attacks. Security by design is built upon the principles of proportionality, multi-functionality, sustainability, accessibility and aesthetics. It is the complete opposite of the creation of urban fortresses.
Public spaces are vulnerable because they are open, easily accessible and attract a great number of people. They are often referred to as « soft targets ». Their vulnerability lies in the fact that they usually lack specialised protective measures and can then be attacked using simple tactics. Such targets are often chosen by terrorists willing to maximise casualties, attain media coverage and inflict fear in the population. Independent of the rarity of such attacks, their psychological, economic and political impact on society can be disproportionally high. In recent years, public spaces such as shopping centres, markets, places of worship, public transport and entertainment venues have become the target of terrorist attacks across Europe.
The action plan to support the protection of public spaces set out a concrete list of measures to pave the way for effective EU Member State cooperation in the protection of public spaces, while the 2020 Counter-terrorism Agenda for the EU focused on the support to Member States in better anticipating, preventing, protecting and responding to the terrorist threats.
In the Counter-Terrorism Agenda, the book is mentioned as a virtual architectural book on urban design, which can assist authorities in incorporating security aspects in the design or renovation public spaces. While the handbook is not legally binding it does contains relevant information and expert advice. It aims to help address practical concerns of integrating security measures for project teams, security operators, urban planners and anyone involved in public space projects. It will help readers answer questions whether and, if yes, to what extent they may wish to implement protective solutions through design.
You can read the handbook to find out more on how to make public spaces not only safer but also multifunctional, sustainable, beautiful and accessible for all people.
Following a record-breaking forest fire season in Europe, the Commission is proposing today €170 million from the EU budget to reinforce its rescEU ground and aerial assets starting from the summer of 2023. The rescEU transitional fleet would therefore have a total of 22 planes, 4 helicopters as well as more pre-positioned ground teams. As from 2025, the fleet would be further reinforced through an accelerated procurement of airplanes and helicopters.
Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said: "Due to climate change the number of regions affected by wildfires is increasing, going beyond the traditionally affected Mediterranean countries. The last summershave clearly shown that more firefighting assets are needed at EU-level. By building up our fleet of aerial means and ground forces, the EU will be able to ensure a prompt, flexible response, including in situations where fires are burning in multiple Member States at the same time.”
Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Johannes Hahn said: “While the record-breaking forest fires this summer may have been overshadowed by other crises, today's proposal to reinforce rescEU shows that the EU budget will continue to support those in need. European solidarity across EU Member States remains strong and we are ready to support this solidarity with financial means.”
Wildfires in the EU are increasing in scope, frequency, and intensity. By 1 October, the data for 2022 reveal a 30% increase in the burnt area over the previous worst year recorded (2017) and a more than 170% increase over the average burnt area since EU-level recording started in 2006.
This season, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre received 11 requests for assistance for forest fires. 33 planes and 8 helicopters were deployed across Europe via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which were joined by over 350 firefighters on the ground. In addition, the EU's emergency Copernicus satellite provided damage assessment maps of the affected areas.
Public health emergencies evolve quickly, but public health entities lack the ability to share new data and potentially life-saving information in real-time—undermining the nation's ability to respond quickly.
To address this, the federal government must overcome three major challenges—specifically, the lack of:
- Common standards for collecting data (e.g., patient characteristics)
- "Interoperability" (meaning not all data systems work together)
- Public health IT infrastructure (the hardware, software, networks, and policies that would enable the reporting and sharing of data)
This snapshot discusses our related work and recommendations.
Public health emergencies evolve quickly, but public health entities lack the ability to share new data and potentially life-saving information in near real-time. To address this, the federal government must overcome 3 major challenges in how it manages public health data. GAO has made a number of recommendations to help address these challenges. However, many of these recommendations have not been implemented.
The Big Picture
Longstanding challenges in the federal government’s management of public health data undermine the nation’s ability to quickly respond to public health emergencies like COVID-19 and monkeypox. These challenges include the lack of:
- common data standards—requirements for public health entitles to collect certain data elements, such as patient characteristics (e.g., name, sex, and race) and clinical information (e.g., diagnosis and test results) in a specific way;
- interoperability—the ability of data collection systems to exchange information with and process information from other systems; and
- public health IT infrastructure—the computer software, hardware, networks, and policies that enable public health entities to report and retrieve data and information.
Over 15 years ago, federal law mandated that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) establish a national public health situational awareness network with a standardized data format. This network was intended to provide secure, near real-time information to facilitate early detection of and rapid response to infectious diseases.
However, the federal government still lacks this needed network and has not yet overcome the challenges identified in previous GAO reviews. Having near real-time access to these data could significantly improve our nation’s preparedness for public health emergencies and potentially save lives.
Without the network, federal, state, and local health departments, hospitals, and laboratories are left without the ability to easily share health information in real-time to respond effectively to diseases.
GAO’s prior work identified three broad challenges to public health data management and recommended actions for improvement.
1. Common Data Standards
To ensure that information can be consistently reported, compared, and analyzed across jurisdictions, public health entities need a standardized data format. Due to the lack of common data standards, information reported by states about COVID-19 case counts was inconsistent. This in turn complicated the ability of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make comparisons. Public health representatives also noted challenges in collecting complete demographic data. This made it difficult to identify trends in COVID-19 vaccinations and the number of doses administered. Although CDC had intended to implement data standards, its strategic plan did not articulate specific actions, roles, responsibilities, and time frames for doing so.
- Re recommended that HHS establish an expert committee for data collection and reporting standards by engaging with stakeholders (e.g., health care professionals from public and private sectors). This committee should review and inform the alignment of ongoing data collection and reporting standards related to key health indicators.
- Recommended that CDC define specific action steps and time frames for its data modernization efforts.
2. Interoperability among Public Health IT Systems
The inability to easily exchange information across data collection and other data systems creates barriers to data sharing and additional burdens on entities that collect and transmit data. During the early stages of COVID-19, the lack of IT system interoperability caused health officials and their key stakeholders (e.g., hospitals) to manually input data into multiple systems. In addition, some state health departments could not directly exchange information with CDC via an IT system. This led to longer time frames for CDC to receive the data they needed to make decisions on the COVID-19 response.
- Recommended that, as part of planning for the public health situational awareness network, HHS should ensure the plan includes how standards for interoperability will be used.
3. Lack of a Public Health IT Infrastructure
The timeliness and completeness of information that is shared during public health emergencies can be impeded by the absence of a public health IT infrastructure. During the early stages of COVID-19, some states had to manually collect, process, and transfer data from one place to another. For example, a state official described having to fax documents, make copies, and physically transport relevant documents. The official noted by establishing a public health IT infrastructure, such as the network HHS was mandated to create, errors would be reduced. To help mitigate challenges in data management for COVID-19, HHS launched the HHS Protect platform in April 2020. However, we reported that public health and state organizations raised questions about the completeness and accuracy of some of the data.
- Recommended that HHS prioritize the development of the network by, in part, establishing specific near-term and long-term actions that can be completed to show progress.
- Recommended that HHS identify an office to oversee the development of the network.
- Recommended that HHS identify and document information-sharing challenges and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City of Makati in the Philippines is named as the second Resilience Hub of Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) in the Asia-Pacific region on 27 September 2022.
Makati has already been recognized as a Role Model City of the MCR 2010-2020 initiative by sharing know-how and experiences for reducing disaster risk, building urban resilience with other cities and participating in regional forums.
Under the leadership of Mayor Mar-len Abigail S. Binay, the city has adopted the principle of “Resilience is everybody’s business” at all sectors of society to manage disasters and build urban resilience in the country.
“We’re committed to continuing the journey of advocating resilience as a way of life through a Resilience Hub by collaborating with our constituents, partners and other local government units,” said Ms. Binay.
The Chief of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific at the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), Mr. Marco Toscano-Rivalta, congratulated the Mayor, the City of Makati and its people for their vision and determination to continue strengthening disaster resilience and supporting other cities along the resilience pathway.
“Disaster risk is local, and it is at the local level where leadership, partnerships and solutions make a difference. MCR2030 is a catalyst for local action, a platform for collaboration and sharing of knowledge to localize disaster risk management and the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction,” said Mr. Toscano-Rivalta.
Makati, also known as a financial hub of the country, has developed a three-year plan of the Resilience Hub, which focuses on creating and building an online knowledge portal. The portal’s objective is to enhance peer-to-peer support, and disseminate risk data, information and expertise by conducting workshops, seminars and events related to strengthening urban resilience towards disaster risk reduction.
The plan also aims to improve city-to-city cooperation by working with other local governments in the Asia Pacific Region and beyond, promote synergies between cities to learn from each other and other disaster risk reduction activities, including capacity building, disaster preparedness, response and prevention.
The city is also in the process of developing the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Academy to learn from its best practices, using case studies and knowledge bases from other cities, leveraging experiences from an international group of practitioners who already participated in the initiative.
Notably, the city has continually mainstreamed and institutionalized disaster risk reduction management across all levels of the city since signing up to the MCR campaign in 2010.
As one of the pilot cities applying MCR tools, Makati held multi-sectoral annual workshops, reviewed and reassessed the city’s progress in implementing the Ten Essentials for MCR2030 through the Local Government Self-Assessment Tool.
The city was one of the first municipalities to utilize the Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Cities, which was developed through then UNISDR’s collaboration with global technology companies such as IBM and AECOM.
In 2017, the city established a resilience roadmap called the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan, using the now adapted Disaster Resilience Scorecard. Makati used Disaster Resilience Scorecard for Cities - Public Health System Resilience Addendum to enhance the city’s disaster risk reduction management.
The residents of Palau have benefitted from effective and low-cost, low-tech early warning systems, installed through the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Pilot Project.
Palau initially received sirens which were installed as part of their early warning systems. However, the residents soon realised that these technologies also came with a myriad of challenges, including the sirens breaking down, difficulties in finding back ups or replacement parts, and the cost of maintenance.
These challenges were especially hard on the outlying islands, which did not have regular access to the necessary tools and resources needed to support and maintain the warning sirens.
The CREWS Pacific SIDS Pilot Project introduced the use of low-cost, low-tech early warning systems as a solution. These consisted mainly of bells that were strategically placed around the three initial areas of Ngaraard, Ngiwal and Kayangel.
The Palau National Weather Service took the lead in the implementation of the pilot project, in partnership with the National Emergency Management Office and the Palau Red Cross Society, which was already well established in the community through their Red Cross Disaster Action teams scattered throughout all 16 states of Palau.
Executive Director of the Palau Red Cross Society, Ms Maireng Sengebau, said they had to work with the community and build their capacity to understand what early warning systems are.
“We had to get them to accept these systems and show their support by providing us with a piece of land on which the bells would be installed,” she said.
Once the bells were installed, the Palau Meteorological Service, working in partnership with the Palau Red Cross Society, would meet with various communities and conduct table-top exercises and drills to familiarise them with the early warning systems and to demonstrate how and when they should be used.
"These activities empowered the people in communities. As a result of these meetings, they are now aware of what early warning systems are and why they are important, and also what to do when there is a disaster coming. They have now taken ownership the system and are the ones who operate it and they report to the state government if it needs maintenance.”
These simple early warning systems have contributed greatly to the resilience of the people of Palau.
“I joined the Palau Red Cross in 2017, and growing up, if there was a typhoon we would just buckle down in our houses and pray. Once the typhoon passes, we would wake up the next morning and just wait for government officials to come and bring help,” said Ms Sengebau.
“That is no longer the case. Now, before the typhoon even hits, families know when and how to act. If your house is not strong enough, they need to move to the evacuation shelter. If your house is strong, make sure that your family has a disaster kit.
“There are now things they can do to minimise the damage. Instead of waiting, we can now take action even before a disaster occurs. This is made possible through these early warning systems, and how they have empowered people in communities to act during natural disasters.”
The Centre Hospitalier Sud Francilien (CHSF) said an attack on its computer network was detected in August. The hospital has referred patients elsewhere as the cyberattack rendered various technical systems ‘inaccessible’.
The cyberattack made various systems “inaccessible” including business software, storage systems in areas such as medical imaging, and the info systems on patient admissions, according to a CHSF statement.
As a result of the attack, patients whose care requires access to the hospital’s technical systems have been redirected to other hospitals in the area. Those who present themselves to the emergency room are being evaluated by CHSF’s medical staff, and being transferred to other institutions if necessary.
The hospital, which serves an area of around 600,000 people, said that measures have been taken to care for those already hospitalised there. However, the “exceptional situation” is expected to have an impact on the operating room, as it is closely linked to the affected technical platform.
French paper Le Monde reports that a ransom of $10m was demanded by the hackers responsible.
The Portfolio Committee on Police in South Africa has resolved to allow the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service (CSPS) to table part of the regulations of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA) 2019, which deals directly with the functions of the Critical Infrastructure Council to enable the council to start performing its functions immediately. The committee today met the Ministry of Police and representatives of the CSPS.
The committee has urged the CSPS to move with speed to table the regulations to ensure that Parliament completes the process of considering them. “We have raised a concern that the committee undertook an extensive process of interviews for the council in 2021 and to date, the Council has not been able to move and implement their mandate. This is the reason we will move with speed to consider the regulations and ensure the effectiveness of the Council,” said Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the Chairperson of the committee.
Meanwhile, the committee deliberated on various issues affecting policing, including crime statistics, morale within the South African Police Service (SAPS), the increase in illegal mining, and challenges with gender-based violence. As a result, the committee agreed on the need for a two-day session, where the Minister of Police together with the National Commissioner and senior leadership of the SAPS outline strategies to remedy these concerns. The session’s intentions are to work together to find solutions to the crime challenge facing the country in order to create a safe environment that fosters socio-economic development.