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Norm-creative Crisis Preparedness

“Norm-creative Crisis Preparedness” is a research project aiming to explore and co-design communication strategies and methods for supporting crisis preparedness and responses before and during times of crisis. The focus is on marginalized groups and disabilities not included in the normative assumptions of general crisis communication.

During times of crisis daily needs may become challenges, social functions and infrastructures can cease to operate, and everyday relations and communications are likely to be disrupted. This makes responding to a crisis challenging.

Before the Covid-19 outbreak, a study by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) reported that almost half of the Swedish population have not made any preparations to cope with crisis situations such as e.g. long-term power failures (MSB, 2015). Previous research shows that crisis preparedness and estimation of ability to respond varies greatly across genders, but also that crisis situations both challenge and strengthen normative gender roles (MSB1204, MSB834).

Against this backdrop, a pilot project was initiated in the autumn of 2019. The aim was to develop methods for promoting dialogue between municipalities, civil society organisations and citizens about their information needs and access in a crisis situation, in this case a power failure. The project resulted in a collaborative scenario-based method that was co-designed with a civil society organisation, a municipality and citizens, aiming to:

  • promote a dialogue between municipalities, civil society organisations and citizens about information needs and access during power outage,
  • increase awareness of where further dialogue is needed and where capabilities in terms of accessing and using information already exist,
  • map citizens’ local, and social networks, and key information access nodes.

The pilot project was conducted before the Covid-19 outbreak. Now, instead of preparing for a potential crisis situation, people need to learn how to live in a crisis and respond to it. To adapt to this new reality, the project will hereafter focus on exploring and developing methods for supporting crisis preparedness and responses before and during pandemics. This changes the point of departure for this project, and the setting of the collaborative scenario-based method that was developed for another type of crisis situation.

The method will thus be re-designed and adapted to this new situation. The expected result of the project is a method that creates conditions for people to get a personal, hands-on experience of what it might mean to be in a crisis. The outcome from using the method is an increased understanding of people’s crisis preparedness and a crisis plan based on the people’s individual needs, everyday lived experiences and life situations.

From a public authority’s point, besides having access to a crisis communication tool encouraging and guiding people in developing a crisis plan, the objective is to gain an increased understanding of people’s subjective estimation of their crisis preparedness. Through the method certain patterns in terms of inequalities between gender, disabled and not disabled people, socio-economic classes, ages or ethnic backgrounds might become evident and highlighted.


Project name

Norm-creative Crisis Preparedness




Västra Götaland Region

RISE role in project

RISE is project coordinator

Project start


2 year project

Total budget

1 229 503 SEK


Malmö University, Göteborgs University, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, Ale Municipality, Falköpings Municipality, Lilla Edets Municipality, Frivilliga Resursgruppen



Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

3. Good health and well-being
Magnus Eriksson

Contact person

Magnus Eriksson

Read more about Magnus

Contact Magnus
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