Open Access Article

Title: Institutional and emergent improvisation in response to disasters in Slovenia

Authors: Marjan Malešič

Addresses: Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Kardeljeva pl. 5, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to check the level of institutional and emergent improvisation during recent disaster responses in Slovenia. The main data source is a research project on the formation of a comprehensive Incident Command System within the Slovenian disaster response system. Triangulation of methods included the analysis of selected secondary sources and a scoping study of recent research on improvisation, analysis of recent disaster cases in the country, and a comparison of improvisation-related experiences. Findings suggest organisations adopted different ways to activate their disaster response forces, changed procedures and how they covered disaster response costs, established new management and coordination structures, and revised existing operational modes and communication channels. The improvised solutions ranged from minor adaptations of procedures to the establishment of new structures. Emergent actors provided help to most affected people, labour, logistical, and communication support. They emerged from both affected communities and outside them.

Keywords: disaster; disaster response; preparedness; planning; improvisation; organisation; emergent actor; coordination; institution; Incident Command System.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2021.10042770

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2021 Vol.17 No.2, pp.138 - 153

Received: 10 Oct 2020
Accepted: 22 Oct 2021

Published online: 16 May 2022 *