A year and a half after the extreme floods of the riv­er Elbe the effects of the nat­ur­al dis­as­ter still weigh heav­i­ly on the affect­ed regions. In the sum­mer of 2013 the water lev­els rose to what experts deemed of the like­li­hood of one in a cen­tu­ry — and it was already the third flood of this kind in the past decade.

The flood impact­ed peo­ple in the affect­ed regions both in the imme­di­ate and acute case of  and in the long run. After imme­di­ate dis­as­ter relief, pol­i­cy mak­ers, admin­is­tra­tors, civ­il soci­ety organ­i­sa­tions and the cit­i­zens of the affect­ed regions are all left with the same ques­tion: How to deal with these kinds of floods and its con­se­quences in the future? 

To pro­vide answers to this ques­tion we con­duct­ed inter­views and group dis­cus­sions with a large num­ber of experts from pol­i­tics, admin­is­tra­tion, and civ­il soci­ety organ­i­sa­tions on the local, region­al and fed­er­al lev­el. All inter­views were con­duct­ed between April and Octo­ber 2014.  This report presents the study’s find­ings and its result­ing pol­i­cy rec­om­men­da­tions on how to organ­ise effec­tive and suc­cess­ful civic par­tic­i­pa­tion in cas­es of dis­as­ter relief and pre­ven­tion.