Headline: Evaluation and validation workshop featuring SHIELD’s simulation videos

Lead: Inviting religious representatives and leaders of Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith, technical partners, security practitioners and law enforcement agents, the SHIELD consortium held an online workshop on December 7th, 2023 presenting three developed simulation videos of potential attacks on places of worship and obtaining elaborate feedback for their validation.


A diverse group of 40 stakeholders from European religious communities and the security field participated in a two-hours long interactive online workshop organised and implemented by the SHIELD consortium partners. The workshop was structured into four main agenda points, starting with a presentation of the SHIELD project, three separate forums for the display, assessment and debate of the developed video simulations, a summarising general discussion with the whole panel and closing with remarks on the upcoming final SHIELD event in February 2024.


The invited stakeholders, who participated in the workshop, represented a preliminary focus group, portraying the addressed target group of the SHIELD project. Therefore, the workshop functioned as a crucial evaluation and validation event and helped to obtain necessary feedback for the refinement and adaptation of the project results to the specific requirements of its intended audience.


Providing a valuable opportunity in the final phase of the project to present critical research outcomes of the SHIELD project, the workshop commenced by an introduction of the SHIELD project, key results and outcomes of WP2 “Analysis of critical points, activities and risks”. This included insights on the implemented vulnerability assessment, case studies and conducted empirical research. The introductory overview allowed the consortium to outline the connection of the developed video simulations with the related research findings and analysed cases of attacks on places of worship. Additionally, the accentuation of the identified vulnerabilities and other research findings corresponded with the elaborate dissemination strategy of the project.

In order to achieve a maximum of qualitative feedback results, the session continued by dividing the participants into three breakout sessions, one for each of the three religions displayed in the respective simulation video on vulnerabilities and security measures of places of worship (Christianity, Judaism, Islam). Within these smaller discussion forums, the respective simulation video was set into context, viewed collectively and debated interactively. The instant feedback and discussion rounds were then followed by the completion of an anonymous questionnaire containing a set of 19 questions, including several sub-questions and focussing on the specific simulation watched in the session.


Lastly, all workshop attendees convened in the main meeting room once more and presented their evaluation outcomes and discussion points to the whole panel, allowing for a comparison of remarks on the different simulations. Technical, quality and content recommendations were documented for further refinement and adjustment objectives by the consortium members and resulted in verified validation outcomes.


The workshop concluded with extending an invitation to all attendees for the final conference of the SHIELD project, which took place in February, 2024 in Brussels.

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