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Data infrastructures for crises

RatSWD working group in the 8th appointment period (2023-2026)

In order to assess the social consequences of current threats and crisis phenomena (pandemic, climate change, internal and external security) and to derive the need for political action, policymakers depend on the results of social science research. If these results are from empirical research, there are particularly high-quality standards for the research data used. However, there is currently only a very limited amount of social science data available for the research of threat situations and crisis phenomena. The working group therefore intends to contribute to the sustainable improvement of quality-tested data infrastructures.

The aim is to develop an infrastructure with which the vulnerability, preparedness and resilience in crises, disasters and threat situations of individuals and social structures can be empirically investigated in more detail from a social science perspective. The following work packages are planned:

  1. Development of an online information portal on regional data relevant to threats and crises (e.g. spatial environmental and climate data, data on social and economic infrastructure, health and epidemiological data, data on civil protection and emergency care, crime statistics and accident and insurance data), which can be used to complement geo-referenced survey data.
  2. Collection of survey instruments on the topics of vulnerability, preparedness and resilience of individuals, households and social structures, which can be used in the development of questionnaires for population surveys and enable data pooling and comparability of results across different surveys.
  3. Development of a short module on vulnerability, preparedness and resilience and placement in one of the major social science survey programmes (SOEP, Freda, ESS, etc.) in order to regularly collect longitudinal, representative information for the research of social crisis phenomena in the future and to provide it for crisis management.

The work is implemented as part of a project based at the Freie Universität Berlin and the WZB Berlin Social Science Center (WZB). In addition, the working group is supported by a heterogeneous group of experts from science and practice.

Output: Online information portal on crisis-relevant data; collection of survey instruments on vulnerability, preparedness and resilience; short module for integration into an established panel survey