VOST EUROPE History, Scope, Guidelines

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Quick Facts

Publishing Organisation:
VOST Europe
Primary Target Country:
Covers Thematic
  • Unaffiliated volunteers Spontaneous or unaffiliated volunteers are individuals or groups that:</br>*arrive unsolicited at the scene of a disaster</br>*may or may not be a resident of the affected community</br>*may or may not possess skills necessary to respond to the current disaster</br>*are not associated with any part of the existing emergency management system </br></br>Source: https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/Archive/202852NCJRS.pdf
  • VOST Virtual Operations Support Team</br></br>Experts in dealing with social media, the acquisition, processing and presentation of digital information. They can search through and check images, videos and text contributions on various platforms for relevant facts and prepare the information for the responsible authorities, e.g. separate important from unimportant or incorrect information.
  • Target audience
  • Civil Society Civil society is a target group in LINKS which comprises citizens, civil society organizations, educational institutions, vulnerable groups, social movement organizations
  • Policy Makers local, national, and European agencies and institutes, public authorities, standardization bodies
  • Practitioners Practitioners is a target group in LINKS which comprises local, national and European disaster management organizations, civil protection agencies, first responders, NGOs, security networks...
  • Audience experience level
  • Starter Those who are not currently using social media, or the current use is based on providing general information and advice to citizens</br></br>Source: https://www.fp7-emergent.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/20170529_D7.3_Guidelines_to_increase_the_benefit_of_social_media_EmerGent.pdf
  • Disaster Management Phase
  • During Also referred to as "Response Phase"</br></br>Actions taken directly before, during or immediately after a disaster in order to save lives, reduce health impacts, ensure public safety and meet the basic subsistence needs of the people affected.</br></br>Annotation: Disaster response is predominantly focused on immediate and short-term needs and is sometimes called disaster relief. Effective, efficient and timely response relies on disaster risk-informed preparedness measures, including the development of the response capacities of individuals, communities, organizations, countries and the international community.</br></br>Source: https://www.undrr.org/terminology/response
  • After Also referred to as 'Recovery Phase'</br></br>The restoring or improving of livelihoods and health, as well as economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets, systems and activities, of a disaster-affected community or society, aligning with the principles of sustainable development and “build back better”, to avoid or reduce future disaster risk.</br></br>Source: https://www.undrr.org/terminology/recovery
  • Synopsis

    VOST’s core mission is to:

    • Use online platforms to inform citizens in the areas of Disaster Risk Management(DRM), Disaster Risk Preparedness (DRP)
    • To support official entities in case of a natural disasters our man-made disruptive events, with an impact on society, with information gathering and dissemination of official information
    • Provide support in hoax and abusive behavior, disinformation and misinformation detection, by monitoring multiple channels and by establishing direct communication channels with online platforms

    Different operational models, that adapt to country and regional level realities and needs, while maintaining the core objectives mentioned above.

    The following models are implemented in Europe for VOST

    • Civil Society Organizations (CSO) / NGO with protocols established with official entities at national level
    • CSO / NGO with protocols established with official entities at regional level, managed by a national CSO / NGO entity
    • VOST as part of the official Civil Protection entity at National and regional level

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