Managerial opportunities for a future capable and efficient Civil Protection Service in Schleswig-Holstein given the possibilities of volunteerism as well as changing social and economic circumstances



Disaster Research Unit (DRU)

Branch office of the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology


Financial support:

Ministerium für Inneres und Bundesangelegenheiten Schleswig-Holstein / The Ministry of Interior of the Land Schleswig-Holstein


Forschungsforum Öffentliche Sicherheit (FÖS) / Research Forum on Public Safety and Security


Jun 01, 2014 — Jan 01, 2015

  • How can the Civil Protection Service of Schleswig-Holstein be maintained in the face of transforming societal and financial conditions as well as an ever changing threat level from disasters?

  • How must the Civil Protection Service in Schleswig-Holstein be structured in the future so as to deal with these changes

    The organizational study “Steuerungsmöglichkeiten für einen zukunfts- und leistungsfähigen Katastrophenschutzdienst in Schleswig-Holstein unter den Gesichtspunkten der Ehrenamtlichkeit sowie veränderter gesellschaftlicher und wirtschaftlicher Rahmenbedingungen / Managerial opportunities for a future capable, and efficient Civil Protection Service (CPS) in Schleswig-Holstein given the opportunities provided by Volunteerism as well as changing social and economic circumstances” analyzes, specifies, and tests the feasibility of the possibilities for restructuring the Civil Protection Service in Schleswig Holstein. Due to the unique challenges (changing threat levels, changing divergent expectations, scarce resources for personnel and budget, restructuring throughout the entire Disaster Management and Civil Protection sector, changes in volunteer work, demographics, etc…) Civil Protection in it itself faces the question as to how it should be postured toward the future in order to meet the expected challenges and changes head on.

    As the northernmost Federal State “between the seas,” Schleswig-Holstein is affected from the aforementioned general changes in a specific manner (for example in terms of coastal management, the reality of an aging population, tourism, etc…), and as such requires specific answers for its local needs. These answers need also deliver and take into account the legally obligated goals, the expectations of optimal resource allocation, as well as achieve greater efficiency and budget-savings for the CPS. A special challenge in this will be to adequately account for secondary effects: the modern Civil Protection Service in its current form provides invaluable contributions to its sponsoring organizations (the fire department (Feuerwehr), German Red Cross (DRK), Johanniter, Malteser, DLRG, THW, ASB, Bundeswehr), for example in the aspect of social cohesion. Therefore, investments in the Civil Protection Service – be it in the form of financial capital, or in the form of something such as professional or volunteer work – have a value well beyond that which is first visible through looking at its primary functions. A further challenge also exists as a result of the fact that the CPS must contend with far reaching, unspecific, and heterogeneous expectations, whilst the actors in the Civil Protection sector lack clear safety objectives.

    The goal of the study is then to reveal potential room for action, strategies for solutions, and to develop concrete measures which would be able to provide for and maintain a capable Civil Protection Service in Schleswig-Holstein in light of the existing and future challenges. Based on the fact that safety objectives and performance requirements to date have been unspecific and need be substantiated, as well as the need to clarify the scope of responsibilities for Civil Protection, the study aims to analyze various structural changes (for example, the reality of an aging population, the changes in general in the Civil Protection sector, the altered willingness to enter volunteer positions, the abolishment of compulsory community service, civil-military cooperation, etc…) and to identify new approaches to solutions (for example, awarding contracts for various tasks to commercial service providers, public private partnerships (PPPs), the development of communication strategies in order to better inform / present the various services as provided by the Civil Protection service, etc…). Likewise the study aims to strengthen the synergies beyond the present organizational and managerial borders and to identify the portability and potential for learning of said changes for other sectors. Lastly, the study will take into account the various sponsoring organizations of the Civil Protection Service, as well as the various forms of volunteer work (honorary office, untethered and Ad-hoc aides, neighborly help, volunteer services, etc…).

    Together with sector-relevant and local experts from politics or praxis involved with civil protection, as well as through the use of scientifically proven methods (literature study, expert interviews, workshops, scenario planning), the study will implement a process (a so called “co-design process”) in which the pre-existing conditions are defined, the room for action is determined, and strategies for solutions are developed. The prepared results of this process, as gathered the applicant, will then be evaluated in terms of feasibility and effectivity within the framework of an “expert workshop.” The results of this will then demonstrated and appraised through the presentation of three possible future scenarios of the CPS and their respective possible outcomes. In addition to generating concrete options for future action, the study aims to generate oreintational knowledge which would simplify and aid future discussion as to the direction of the Civil Protection Service.

The aspired goals of the study are:

  1. An analysis of the current international and national state of research und publication whilst taking into account the lawful obligations and the federal integration of the Civil Protection Service in Schleswig-Holstein. This will likewise consider the organizational structure, the financial backing, and existing provisions for the various topic fields available to the CPS

1.1.      Risks and dangers as presented by the 21st century

1.2.      Safety goals and performance requirements of the CPS

1.3.      A self-help capability and self-reliance capacity of the populace

1.4.      An increased perception of the Civil Protection Service from the populace of Schleswig-Holstein

1.5.      New forms of and developments for both professional and volunteer work

1.6.      A comparison with reform approaches enacted and developed internationally as well as within Germany (for example the Austrian Strategy 2020)

1.7.      Cooperation with commercial service providers (PPP)

1.8.      Cooperation beyond federal and state borders

  1. Baseline Study of the current situation of sponsoring organizations

  2. A listing and prioritization of existing problems from the perspective of sponsoring organizations with special attention given to the 8 topics listed above

  3. Suggestions for solutions from the perspective of the sponsoring organizations

  4. Collate the results of the “expert workshops” with the experts from the various sponsoring organizations

  5. Development of a catalogue of various provisional measures aimed at optimizing the CPS, a rubric for evaluation, and recommendations on the basis of the analysis and expert interviews

  6. Present three scenarios for the potential future development of the CPS in Schleswig-Holstein until 2030 under the assumption that the developed measures for optimization and change have been enacted