Resilience framework for critical infrastructres

  1. Labaka Zubieta, Leire
Supervised by:
  1. José Mari Sarriegi Domínguez Director
  2. Josune Hernantes Apezetxea Director

Defence university: Universidad de Navarra

Fecha de defensa: 22 July 2013

  1. José Julio González Chair
  2. Elisabeth Viles Diez Secretary
  3. Martina Comes Committee member
  4. María Jesús Álvarez Committee member
  5. Víctor Bañuls Committee member

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 116324 DIALNET lock_openDadun editor


The welfare of society has increased significantly in the last few decades throughout the world due to advances in many sectors such as technology, health, communication, etc. But at the same time, this has also increased our dependency towards the correct functioning of these Critical Infrastructures (CIs). Therefore, a proper functioning and a high service reliability level of CIs are vital for the society’s welfare. In light of this situation, it is paramount to improve the resilience level of the CIs in order to prevent crises occurrence and absorb the impact when they occur. Resilience is defined as a capacity of a system to prevent a crisis occurrence, and in case it occurs, the capacity to absorb the magnitude of the impact and recover efficiently to the normal situation. Literature presents several definitions and perspectives regarding the resilience concept. However, it lacks to provide a detailed prescription about how crisis managers can improve their CI’s resilience level holistically. This research presents a framework that would help crisis managers to improve the resilience level of CIs. This framework provides a list of policies and sub-policies that crisis managers should implement in their CIs to enhance the resilience level. These policies have beendefined holistically taking into account internal and external stakeholders taking part in a major industrial accident as well as covering the four dimensions of resilience already defined in the literature. Furthermore, the influence of each resilience policy on the three resilience lifecycle stages has been determined. The main conclusion obtained from this analysis is that internal policies are the ones which most influence during the prevention stage whereas both internal and external policies assist on the absorption and recovery stages. An implementation methodology has also been defined in order to efficiently implement this framework in practice. It is difficult to implement all the policies at the same time. Furthermore, some policies require others prior implementation to achieve higher efficiency in their implementation. Therefore, this implementation methodology provides the temporal order in which the policies and sub-policies should be implemented in order to achieve a high resilience level. In order to carry out this research different kinds of research methods have been employed. Some methods aim to gather experts’ knowledge through workshops and questionnaires such as Group Model Building, Delphi, and Survey methods. Others, on the other hand, are based on analysis of past major industrial accidents or real cases such as case studies in CIs. From this variety of methods valuable and complementary information was gathered in order to develop and validate the resilience framework for CIs