Project Management

Medizinische Universität Wien


01.10.2021 - 30.09.2023



Contact person

Vanessa Kulcar

Health crisis events such as epidemics and pandemics pose particular challenges for crisis management. Particularly important here is the consideration of vulnerable groups. The CAVE project aims to analyze where risks and vulnerabilities may exist in the future in health crisis situations and how these can be countered in a participatory manner. Participatory approaches are central to reaching vulnerable groups and integrating them into crisis management. Community engagement refers to the involvement of those affected and local stakeholders in all phases of crisis management, including decisions about prevention and management. This integration into decision-making processes can be critical for the adherence and cooperation of the groups concerned. In addition, participatory strategies make it possible to better map indicators for vulnerability and resilience, so that those affected receive the necessary support on the one hand, but can also use their own resources on the other. The basis for this is that vulnerability is not viewed one-dimensionally, but rather the intersectionality of various vulnerability factors is taken into account. In addition, not only vulnerabilities but also the strengths and resources of different groups have to be taken into account.

Models for community engagement have already been developed and established in other contexts. However, these mostly relate to low-income countries, while there is little knowledge about community engagement during health crises in high-income countries like Austria. However, the current COVID-19 pandemic shows that there is a loophole here that should be closed. The CAVE project is intended to make a contribution to this.

In the project, disaster research in the social sciences and the humanities will be linked with technical applications. In addition, the research takes place in close cooperation with stakeholders, for example from the disabled or elderly care. The aim is to develop models that map community engagement and vulnerability, but also resilience factors. These should show how possible future endemic and pandemic scenarios can be met in a participatory manner.

Project partners:

  • Paris-Lodron Universität Salzburg
  • Universität Innsbruck
  • Bundesministerium für Soziales, Gesundheit, Pflege und Konsumentenschutz
  • Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung
  • Österreichisches Rotes Kreuz
  • Lebenshilfe GmbH
  • Spatial Services GmbH
  • safeREACH GmbH


More info on the project website (in German).