Municipal Administration of Cities in Crisis
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From How to reboot civilization: "The basic notion is that in any substantial crisis, municipal authorities will bear the brunt of the load. In a local ("point") crisis, national agencies can come to the assistance of the troubled region. In a "systemic" crisis, national agencies may hit a few trouble spots, but will be generally ineffective. However, the mayor and the fire department and the chief of police are going to be right there, on site, weathering the storm or failing to do so. Therefore any planning for really severe scenarios needs to focus on the individual at home, and the mayor’s office / local council. There’s no central government support, they’re spread too thin. And, generally speaking, there’s only a limited amount of utility in planning for specific scenarios – too much could happen. The trick is not planning for disasters, it’s planning to keep people fed and watered and on their medicines afterwards. The real dieoff is usually not the event, it’s the aftermath."
SCIM is "six ways to die" on steroids:
- It builds from a fundamental approach to catastrophic situations (extendable to developement and poverty) with people in the middle.
- With the aim of helping create room for people's lives, the framework starts by recognising people die from a small number of causes, and how infrastructure is used to delay deaths towards local life expectancy and beyond. ("Death" is used as a sharp conceptual stiletto that helps prioritisation and serves as a clear proxy variable for other important variables such as "ability to function" and "freedom from pain".)
- The framework then looks at how individuals aggregate as groups, organisations and states. These levels of human aggregation can also "die" if they malfunction or cease to exist. Their "death" can then contribute to people suffering too much or dieing before too soon.
For each SCIM item, we may use the OODA loop to:
- Look at the situation (maybe even develop some ad hoc information systems if the situation will last long enough).
- Use all the available information to make sense of the present reality, in terms of risks, vulnerabilities, priorities, etc.
- Look at what are the alternatives and substitutions ("if the car is broken, we can use the bike or the phone") and decide what to do next.
- Finally, do something about it, through our own motion and also working with others.
All the elements of the loop do of course relate to each other: "we look at the information needed to take decisions", etc.
We run the loop as individuals or in conversations (among groups, across organisations) until at least a number of important things in the SCIM map are "fixed".
The current question: How do we develop this basic framework so that municipalities (the people officially in charge, non-official first-responders, individuals in groups and organisations) can better cope with systemic crises? We can use the Talk:MACC as a conversation space.