This contribution presents the case study of S(p)eedkits, a four-year research project co-funded within the Seventh Framework Programme, activity: Security (SEC-2011.4.2-3). The project involved 15 European partners between humanitarian organizations, research centres, academia and private enterprises, for the development of rapid deployable, modular and lightweight Emergency Response Units (ERU). The paper goes through the activities carried out by the Politecnico di Milano, which was directly committed in the development of packaging and modularity of the ERU; guidelines that have played a crucial role, because its multi-disciplinary impacts, within the implementation of the project. In emergency response, humanitarian organizations (e.g. IFRC) have developed pre-packaged ERU, ready-to-use and for different specific functions, e.g. medical care, sanitation, energy provision, with trained professionals. Against this background, benefits coming from other expertise are being increasingly recognized as an advantage for the humanitarian sector, e.g. experimental innovation of material and technical aspects of shelter and logistics, conceptual framework and support in terms of methodology and technological innovation, development of prototypes and pilot projects.The purpose of the project was to improve existing ERU and to develop novel kits to support early emergency response of humanitarian organizations (speed-kits); and, at the same time, to design the kits as seeds for long-term self-recovery after disaster strikes, thus endorsing the shared trend in emergency aid to stimulate as early as possible self-repair by the affected population. The multidisciplinary nature of the partnership assured a mutual contribution toward the shared goal by balancing each other operational limits. Humanitarian organizations have operative knowledge but they can refer to donors; Academia has theoretical knowledge that needs to be validated in the field; private sector is a technology provider that can be limited by market demand. The complex management due to the technical and formal complexity of the project, required a knowledge transfer process that applied at two levels: on one hand, the quality management process to tackle the challenges set out in order to reach the shared goals. On the other hand, the knowledge transfer process set up to achieve best coordination and common technical specifications between shelter sector and the other related sectors, such as facilities (water, sanitation and hygiene, communication center) and infrastructure (medical, energy, re- building). The complexity and diversity of kits size, use, and time of entry in the emergency scenario have been thus approached embracing a systemic design approach, that dealt with a complex and heterogeneous system. It allowed to map complexities and to enable a functioning and efficient collaboration and exchange of knowledge among partners. Packaging design was instrumental to transfer knowledge transversally, by virtue of its multidisciplinary impacts: it supported the development of systemic and cohesive kit solutions, that had to be transformational or composed by modular elements. The kits had been considered as a coherent unicum, as a complete set of parts and components that could/should work together as a system. The proposed contribution focuses on the difficulties the project run through, concerning knowledge transfer in a systemic design process, with a multidisciplinary and horizontal approach. And it reflects on possibilities and detectable aspects of strategic planning and design in the field of emergency response, in order to better supply and improve understanding of and practice in offering shelter and facilities support for people displaced into whatever circumstances, for maybe long-term periods.

Knowledge transfer into a system design process: the case study of S(p)eedkits - rapid deployable kits as seeds of self-recovery

Zanelli A.;Giabardo G.;Viscuso S.;Monticelli C.;Cantini A.;Mazzola C.
2017

Abstract

This contribution presents the case study of S(p)eedkits, a four-year research project co-funded within the Seventh Framework Programme, activity: Security (SEC-2011.4.2-3). The project involved 15 European partners between humanitarian organizations, research centres, academia and private enterprises, for the development of rapid deployable, modular and lightweight Emergency Response Units (ERU). The paper goes through the activities carried out by the Politecnico di Milano, which was directly committed in the development of packaging and modularity of the ERU; guidelines that have played a crucial role, because its multi-disciplinary impacts, within the implementation of the project. In emergency response, humanitarian organizations (e.g. IFRC) have developed pre-packaged ERU, ready-to-use and for different specific functions, e.g. medical care, sanitation, energy provision, with trained professionals. Against this background, benefits coming from other expertise are being increasingly recognized as an advantage for the humanitarian sector, e.g. experimental innovation of material and technical aspects of shelter and logistics, conceptual framework and support in terms of methodology and technological innovation, development of prototypes and pilot projects.The purpose of the project was to improve existing ERU and to develop novel kits to support early emergency response of humanitarian organizations (speed-kits); and, at the same time, to design the kits as seeds for long-term self-recovery after disaster strikes, thus endorsing the shared trend in emergency aid to stimulate as early as possible self-repair by the affected population. The multidisciplinary nature of the partnership assured a mutual contribution toward the shared goal by balancing each other operational limits. Humanitarian organizations have operative knowledge but they can refer to donors; Academia has theoretical knowledge that needs to be validated in the field; private sector is a technology provider that can be limited by market demand. The complex management due to the technical and formal complexity of the project, required a knowledge transfer process that applied at two levels: on one hand, the quality management process to tackle the challenges set out in order to reach the shared goals. On the other hand, the knowledge transfer process set up to achieve best coordination and common technical specifications between shelter sector and the other related sectors, such as facilities (water, sanitation and hygiene, communication center) and infrastructure (medical, energy, re- building). The complexity and diversity of kits size, use, and time of entry in the emergency scenario have been thus approached embracing a systemic design approach, that dealt with a complex and heterogeneous system. It allowed to map complexities and to enable a functioning and efficient collaboration and exchange of knowledge among partners. Packaging design was instrumental to transfer knowledge transversally, by virtue of its multidisciplinary impacts: it supported the development of systemic and cohesive kit solutions, that had to be transformational or composed by modular elements. The kits had been considered as a coherent unicum, as a complete set of parts and components that could/should work together as a system. The proposed contribution focuses on the difficulties the project run through, concerning knowledge transfer in a systemic design process, with a multidisciplinary and horizontal approach. And it reflects on possibilities and detectable aspects of strategic planning and design in the field of emergency response, in order to better supply and improve understanding of and practice in offering shelter and facilities support for people displaced into whatever circumstances, for maybe long-term periods.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1065388
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