Defining a risk-informed framework for whole-of-government lessons learned – A Canadian perspective


  1. Friesen, S.K.
  2. Kelsey, S.
  3. Legere, J.A.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Centre for Security Science, Ottawa ON (CAN)
Lessons learned play an important role in emergency management (EM) and organizational agility. Virtually all aspects of EM can derive benefit from a lessons learned program. From major security events to exercises, exploiting and applying lessons learned and “best practices” is critical to organizational resilience and adaptiveness. A robust lessons learned process and methodology provides an evidence base with which to inform decisions, guide plans, strengthen mitigation strategies, and assist in developing tools for operations. The Canadian Safety and Security Program recently supported a project to define a comprehensive framework that would allow public safety and security partners to regularly share event response best practices, and prioritize recommendations originating from after action reviews. This framework consists of several inter-locking elements: a comprehensive literature review/environmental scan of international programs; a survey to collect data from end users and management; the development of a taxonomy for organizing and structuring information; a risk-informed methodology for selecting, prioritizing, and following through on recommendations; and standardized templates and tools for tracking recommendations and ensuring implementation. This article discusses the efforts of the project team, which provided “best practice” advice and analytical support to ensure that a systematic approach to lessons learned was taken by the federal community to im
lessons learned;after action review;framework;continuous improvement;event response;emergency management
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2017-P040 — External Literature
Date of publication
01 Sep 2017
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
Journal of Emergency Management, Volume 15, No. 4, Pages 219 231
Electronic Document(PDF)

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