Exchanging best practices and information in a network of 250 cities
, Raphaël Briner
Created in 1987 in Barcelona under the auspices of the Council of Europe, the European Forum for Urban Security. Efus is the only European network of local authorities dedicated to urban security and crime prevention.
Efus aims to support local governments in the development, implementation and evaluation of their local security policy and to promote the role of local elected officials in national and European policies. An association of about 250 European cities and regions represented by their elected officials and technical staff, Efus works on all the major issues related to urban safety and security. It acts as a link between cities and regions on a national, European and international level. Exchanging best practices and information, as well as organising support and training are at the core of Efus’ activity.
In a cost-saving effort to limit the number of conferences and meetings, Efus looked to set up a communications and collaboration platform that would operate as a corporate social network for dialogue and the exchange of practices between members, and provide them with a rich and evolutive knowledge base.
Email exchanges having reached their limits due to the size of the user network which are scattered geographically and linguistically. The purpose of the platform was thus to improve the work flow among members and to facilitate the coordination of ongoing projects, working groups and procedures along with creating a climate of agile cooperation. Although Efus operates in 250 cities it operates mainly in French and English; the platform had to reflect this bilingualism.
Launch & Benefits
The collaboration platform was launched in several stages. In order to create early adopters and engage Efus’ communities in this new way of working, the platform was launched on the occasion of the start of project and an Executive Committee meeting. Programme Managers then took the lead. Each creating their thematic spaces and managing their communities. A great deal of thought was put into structuring the platform spaces and outlining precisely their respective function. Editorial guidelines were established to support the in-house team in managing the communities by providing examples.
Starting small proved beneficial to help users take advantage of this new tool and encourage dialogue.