Resilience Direct is making fantastic strides in the emergency response service arena. Created specifically for “blue light” responders along with their public and private sector response partners. Here, Luana Avagliano, Head of the Resilience Direct team in the Civil Contingencies Secretariat – Cabinet Office, answers the key questions.
Why do we need Resilience Direct?
It’s quite simple to make the UK a safer place. ResilienceDirect™ is the UK’s secure platform for multi-agency partnerships to share information in both emergency response and in planning. It is essential that the Resilience Community have the best tools and services to support them in effective decision-making at the tactical and strategic levels.
Whose specifications did you use to build this web service?
The resilience community users were vital. ResilienceDirect™ was developed using Agile methodology and open source methods. It is an adaptable hub, capable of hosting new applications reflecting user demand and future trends in emergency planning and response. Our ethos is “with you” “for you” and “by you”.
How do you get access to Resilience Direct?
It is a private network based across the UK, Local Resilience Forums, and Local Resilience Partnerships. New organisations and users are nominated and these are submitted to the team. The team then authorise access and create the organisations on the system and give access to additional users.
What benefits have you seen delivered to the resilience community?
A free, intuitive, easy to use service, with no digital certificates. Accessible from any mobile device. It provides real-time information-sharing across organisational and geographical boundaries. By supporting emergency planning and response organisations to do more for less by cutting across organisational silos and multiple communication channels, enabling greater efficiency and increased joint working. By using agile development techniques the service was delivered within 16 weeks – an absolutely awesome achievement. Also because we do not use proprietary software, we have saved money for the public purse. A win-win.
Why include OS mapping?
User feedback and the response to the mapping app has been phenomenal. The first thing that any multi-agency response needs are a map which is what we were told when we identified the user’s needs. There are lots of GIS packages with each organisation using various services and experts; that is still the case. The need has been for an easy to use mapping app that provides a secure multi-agency response picture that could be shared across all partners in real-time, with the ability to draw cordons, sectorise them for evacuation and shelter, draw polygons, and use the common symbology as created by the Civil Contingencies Secretariat within the Cabinet Office.
Why did you have to create a new lot of mapping symbols?
When working collaboratively it is important that everyone uses the same terminology, and in this case for mapping the common symbology. A lot of hard work has gone into the delivery of this by the Civil Contingencies Secretariat, and by using this for the ResilienceDirect™ mapping app it will embed this at the heart of multiagency responses.
What does the future look like for Resilience Direct?
It is very exciting, and we are currently scoping our future Technical Roadmap, for new apps to be developed and delivered at pace. We continue to work with our Resilience User Community and there are a number of areas we will focus on; interoperability, system integration, live data feeds for mapping and continuing to enhance ResilienceDirect™.
Head of ResilienceDirect
Civil Contingencies Secretariat