Evening lecture: Real cases


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About this event

Board 2018-2019
Date and time
Nov 20, 2018 19:00 - 21:00

Evening lecture: Real cases

What does it mean to conduct research when the (national and international) stakes are high and when the research that is conducted, can have serious consequences for the people and organizations involved? How to deal with media pressure? What are the dilemma’s you are confronted with? In some cases, very practice-based research is needed and done to investigate critical matters within society. Those are some central questions that professor Ellen Giebels - head of the Department Psychology of Conflict, Risk and Safety - will discuss with us during this evening lecture.

Ellen Giebels has over 20 years of experience within the field of conflict management and crisis communication and was involved in multiple research projects with such sensitivity and high stakes. Most recently, she chaired the ‘Committee-Giebels’ that examined the culture at the Dutch military, after three soldiers had reported incidents of (sexual) assault and misconduct. Before that, she contributed to an evaluation report about the crisis communication management of Dutch institutes after the MH17 disaster (14th of July, 2014), in which she specifically looked into the after‐care to and communication with the victims' families.  (Cases' description below) 

If you are interested in the field of conflict and crisis communication, Psychology of Conflict, Risk and Safety or just conducting practice-oriented research in itself, you will not want to miss this lecture! It is a great opportunity to hear an experienced professional about academia in practice.


The Cases:
Ministry of Defence

After three soldiers reported to a Dutch newspaper that they were being structurally bullied and abused at their base, and that they were sexually assaulted during their initiating period, an independent committee was initiated by State Secretary Barbara Visser to more closely examine the social safety climate within the military.

After a 9 month research period, the committee-Giebels presented their final report on this matter on Monday the 15th of October 2018, indicating social unsafety at the military. The report received a lot of media coverage (TV, Radio, Newspapers) and follow-up invitations from within the Military, the Dutch House of Representatives, as well as Theatre makers.  

(Source: https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-achtergrond/melders-misstanden-bij-defensie-voelen-zich-niet-veilig-blijkt-uit-onderzoek~b2cd4bc4/)

A description of the outcome of the examination can be found here (Dutch): https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-achtergrond/melders-misstanden-bij-defensie-voelen-zich-niet-veilig-blijkt-uit-onderzoek~b2cd4bc4/


Evaluation of Crisis communication management: MH17 disaster

After the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on 17 July 2014, the Netherlands was in deep grief.
The crash affected of course the relatives of the victims, but it also shocked the Dutch population and received international attention because it had occurred above a conflict zone, within the context of the political conflict in Ukraine at that time.

Following the crash of flight MH17 the Dutch national crisis structure entered into effect, followed by other institutes and organisations to manage the crisis.

To evaluate how the national crisis management organisation functioned, an evaluation was conducted that consisted of three studies on the interdepartmental crisis management; how information was provided to the House of Representatives, the media, and society as a whole; and lastly, a study on the communication with, and after‐care to, the victims' families, the part that was led by Ellen Giebels.

This report also received a lot of media attention and follow-up activities.

An English summary of the report can be found here:




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