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Ongoing project

Voluntary organizations in local emergency management

Voluntary organizations in local emergency management

Good coordinated cooperation with voluntary actors is often needed to deal with emergency events such as floods, forest fires or searching for missing persons. The research project studies the role of voluntary actors in local emergency response and rescue work in Norway and Denmark.

Project period January 2020 - December 2022
Project employer The Research Council of Norway
Project nr. 10351 / NFR: 296064
Project leader Marte Winsvold

The project examines the role of voluntary actors in local emergency management in Norway and Denmark, with a special focus on the collaboration between voluntary organizations and public authorities. The purpose of the project is to provide knowledge about the conditions for efficient public-voluntary emergency management collaboration.

Project Backround

Handling emergency situations often requires resources beyond those available to public authorities. Well-coordinated collaboration with partners in civil society is therefore necessary to mitigate hazards at the local level. The project will generate knowledge on how civil-public emergency collaboration work at the local level in Norway in Denmark and how such collaboration can be organized in ways that ensure good emergency capacity. The literature points to mutual trust as a key ingredient in committing autonomous actors to collaborating towards a common goal, and the project will give special attention to the role of trust and how it is generated, sustained, and developed through various forms of collaboration. The project will also investigate the motivation of the particularly demanding form of volunteer work that emergency management represents.

Project Approach

Research questions will be answered through comparative case studies in local communities in Norway and Denmark as well as through nationwide surveys to volunteers in Norway and to the responsible emergency agencies and public authorities at the local level.

Knowledge generated from the project can be used as input in organizing public-voluntary emergency collaboration and should therefore have relevance to voluntary organizations, local emergency agencies, and decision-makers. Theoretically the project will contribute with increased knowledge of the conditions for efficient interaction and capacity building in collaborative relations and increased insight into the mechanisms that promote trust in collaborative relations.


ParticipantDegree PhoneE-mail
Bernard Enjolras Research Professor, Director Center for research on civil society and voluntary sector PhD +47 976 89 237
Vibeke Wøien Hansen Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 920 27 149
Håkon Solbu Trætteberg Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 920 54 308
Marte Winsvold Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 930 33 752
Dag Wollebæk Research Professor PhD
Christian Lo
Asbjørn Røiseland
Andreas Hagedorn Krogh


  • Hansen, Vibeke Wøien (2021). Frivillig helseberedskap i endring: Hva sier forskningen?
  • Winsvold, Marte Slagsvold (2021). Kunsten å ta imot hjelp. Kommunal rapport.

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Tags: Sivilsamfunn
Published June 29, 2020 11:53 AM - Last modified Jan. 28, 2021 7:54 AM