The corona crisis emphasises the importance of correct information – funding in the amount of two million euros from the Academy of Finland for research in information resilience

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The IRWIN project researching Information Resilience in a Wicked Environment has received funding in the amount of approximately two million euros from the Academy of Finland. The three-year project is led by the University of Vaasa. The participants in the project are University of Eastern Finland, Finnish National Defence University and Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

The current corona pandemic has shown how important information resilience is for the functioning of the entire society. The decision-makers and citizens must have accurate and reliable information. Otherwise, there is a danger that information disappears, is distorted, or replaced with inaccurate information. In this situation, various conspiracy theories also spread and make all activities more difficult. 

– Traditionally, resilience is perceived as securing food supply, delivery reliability of raw materials for the industry, and logistics. In the IRWIN project, the focus is on information resilience. In addition, a participatory national preparedness model is developed, in which the decision-makers, citizen society and the business sector produce situation awareness and act in co-operation to facilitate crisis preparedness, says the leader of the research project, Vice-Rector and professor of accounting, Annukka Jokipii.

Information resilience concerns accuracy of information, as well as sharing, availability and timeliness of information.

– It is the authorities' task to ensure that the various distribution channels for information are working, and that the information they use is up-to-date and reliable. From the citizens, on the other hand, both media reading ability as well as the ability to apply information is required, says the head of the University of Vaasa's complexity research group, Research Manager Petri Uusikylä.

Information resilience in the corona pandemic, in the social and health care reform, and in the preparation of intelligence legislation

Information resilience is researched in the project particularly through three case studies: in the social and health care reform, the preparation process of intelligence legislation, and the current corona pandemic.

According to Uusikylä, in the project, the University of Vaasa researches the Finnish governance system, institutions, as well as the governance and management practices, particularly from the perspective of information resilience. The University of Eastern Finland studies the governance of national preparedness, regulating strategies, structures and processes from the perspectives of legislation research and constitution issues.

– The aim is to find building blocks for adaptive and information resilience-sensitive regulatory governance across sectors and levels of administration to reach national preparedness goals, says Anssi Keinänen, professor of legislative and empirical legal studies.

The researchers of Laurea University of Applied Sciences take the perspective of citizens, in particular.

– We intend to review how the participation of citizens and the role of citizens as users, utilisers and on the other hand, also as producers of information, is realised. The research subject is very challenging and current, says Director of University unit, docent Valdemar Kallunki.

The National Defence University researches in the project the revelation of disinformation, its tools and counterforces as part of information resilience in the society.

– What is central is that the authorities, corporations, citizens and volunteers share a common situation picture and situation awareness as well as the measures executed on the basis of this to locate and reveal disinformation and to prevent the damage of disinformation. One central area is the social media, says professor Aki-Mauri Huhtinen from the National Defence University.

A multidisciplinary project gathers researchers together

The participants from the University of Vaasa in the IRWIN project, in addition to Annukka Jokipii and Petri Uusikylä, are Harri Jalonen, Harri Raisio, Hanna-Kaisa Pernaa, Niklas Lundström and Juha Lindell. From the University of Eastern Finland, the participants in addition to Keinänen are Asko Uoti, Kari Laitinen, Leena Jukka and Niko Vartiainen. The National Defence University's researchers, in addition to Huhtinen, are Teija Norri-Sederholm, Miina Kaarkoski, Pekka Koistinen, Milla Alaraatikka and Jukka Huhtamäki. From the Laurea University of Applied Sciences, in addition to Kallunki, the project is participated by Harriet Lonka, Teemu Santonen, Marilla Kortesalmi and Laura Erkkilä.

Further information

Project director, Vice-Rector, professor Annukka Jokipii, University of Vaasa, tel. +358 29 449 8482, email: annukka.jokipii (@)

Professor Aki-Mauri Huhtinen, National Defence University, tel. +358 40 5415549, email: aki.huhtinen (@)

Professor Anssi Keinänen, University of Eastern Finland, tel. +358 50 4422 582 email: anssi.keinanen (@)

Director, docent Valdemar Kallunki, Laurea, tel. +358 40 141 8358 email: valdemar.kallunki (@)

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