The Resilient Ukraine team presented “Cross-sector cooperation: lessons for a resilient society,” an analytical report based on the results of cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises in Kyiv on 28 March 2023.
The event discussed cross-sector coordination among different agencies, offices, and departments and crisis communication, as well as practical lessons for Ukraine’s resilience at the local, regional, and community levels.
Launching the presentation was Margus Gering, deputy head of the mission of the Republic of Estonia in Ukraine, who voiced his admiration for the Ukrainian people and highly praised the Resilient Ukraine programme.
“Ukrainians exemplify resilience,” he said and added that “It is our pleasure that the Estonian experts have contributed to building up this strength.” “For six years, the Resilient Ukraine project has been reinforcing Ukraine’s ability to defend against hybrid threats, cyber-attacks, and disinformation campaigns,” Margus Gering said. He continued to praise Ukraine’s unique experience in resilience which is worth studying and adopting in partner states.
The cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises were held within the “Strengthening Ukraine’s Societal Resilience through Building Regional Expertise and Analytical Capacity in Civil Security Issues” project. The project was aimed at building trust among professionals from various sectors of Ukraine’s society.
Ewan McDougall, the deputy coordinator for aid programs at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, highlighted the two main goals set for the cross-sector exercises: to train immediate responses to complex crises and to develop long-term cooperation among various public institutions and the Ukrainian society at large.
Indrek Kannik, the director of the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS), emphasised that the primary focus for both the Resilient Ukraine programme and the cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises was to provide a platform for various professionals to share experience and expertise and thus make each other stronger.
“We have been learning together with you,” he said. “Ukraine demonstrated exceptional resilience last year, as well as in years before, since the Russian aggressions first began,” Mr Kannik noted.
The cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises primarily focused on the human aspect of resilience: they allowed the participants to teach skills gained in their respective sectors to each other.
The Resilient Ukraine team conducted cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises for the participants and provided them with a safe learning environment to share their knowledge and experience. “Although the training took an experimental approach, the cross-sector crisis-simulation exercise format proved useful when applied,” Dmitri Teperik, director of the Resilient Ukraine programme, said.
The presentation gathered an audience of over 60 attendees. Among them were many participants in cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises, who arrived from Sumy, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Uzhhorod, and Odesa. They spoke about their impressions and experiences and shared their thoughts about the future of this training format.
Yaroslav Bulyshyn, head of the Plast scout organisation in Lviv, said that the cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises have a huge potential to be scaled up in the future.
“The Resilient Ukraine team reports that the cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises gathered over 160 participants from 8 regions. For such a big country, this is not a big number, though. I wish that we could grow this number from 160 to 16,000, and from 16,000 to 160,000.” “It is, indeed, such a valuable format to establish cross-sector connections among various agencies in civil, public, and private sectors, as well as law enforcement and media communities,” Mr Bulyshyn noted.
To learn more about the results of and conclusions from the cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises, please read “Cross-sector cooperation: lessons for a resilient society”. The report is available here.
The “Resilient Ukraine” programme develops and continuously improves standards to measure Ukrainian society’s resilience. The programme has been operated by the International Center for Defence and Security (ICDS) since 2016 with support from the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs within its development cooperation programme.
The “Strengthening Ukraine’s Societal Resilience through Building Regional Expertise and Analytical Capacity in Civil Security Issues” project is implemented with financial support from the U.S. Department of State Office of the Assistance Coordinator for Europe and Eurasia under the Eighth Round of the Development Cooperation Partnership (DCP) Program. The cross-sector crisis-simulation exercises were held in 8 oblasts — in the cities of Sumy, Dnipro, Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Uzhhorod, Ternopil, and Odesa — from January 2022 through January 2023.