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Dealing in
hospital village



plant the
water tap individual
plant water

understanding vital services
stores energy and how they keep you safe



food understanding vital services


shops too
and how they keep you safe
food mkts

simple critical
map (SCIM)
Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2

SCIM: Individual injury

This example simple critical world

infrastructure map shows how a country

t y p i c a l we s t e r n i n d i v i d u a l i s region
protected from the six ways to die by town
the layers of infrastructure. police

hospital village


SCIM:I maps can be drawn to

prepare action plans as part of a risk person

assessment process. The map can cooling

show the details of infrastructure in plant
a particular area. water tap individual

plant water
Crisis responders can update maps power
during an infrastructure failure to kitchen
identify key response priorities and stores energy

protect the public. mkts



The public can draw their own maps
to identify their vulnerabilities to fuel
food mkts
infrastructure failure. National and mkts
municipal agencies can help by
making standard maps of their hunger SCIM
services available.
Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2

Six ways to die (6WTD)

There are six basic ways in which Shelter In the developing world, the six risks
people die, and three sets of Shelter refers not just to the home, are increased by a combination of
essential services which protect but to the essential services like poor physical infrastructure, poverty,
them. power, cooling, heating and so on and in some areas social instability.
that make it habitable year round.
Shelter protects from: Not all homes have these services, In most crises in the developed
1. Too Hot and not all climates require them. world the short term pressures on
2. Too Cold infrastructure systems do not
Supply threaten lives. However, in more
Supply protects from: We all need regular food and water severe times of crisis, or in
3. Hunger to stay alive. These essential supplies developing world disasters,
4. Thirst are provided in very different ways infrastructure failures can be even
in different parts of the world - more dangerous than the original
Safety protects from: plumbing versus water carriers, for disaster. Water and sanitation issues
5. Illness example. are particularly problematic.
6. Injury
Safety Simple critical infrastructure maps
Good physical infrastructure and Protection from illness and injury is (SCIM) are a reasonable way of
social services bring these risks provided by health care, public building a simple, realistic
down to acceptable levels. In a crisis health, hospitals, sanitation model of critical
the challenge is to reduce these infrastructure, police, security infrastructure
risks by restoring essential services. services and the military. systems.
Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2

What is infrastructure?
Unless you are a professional in the Look at the room you are in. If you The most essential function of
infrastructure field, infrastructure's are in a western office or home, infrastructure is to protect us from
number one job in your life is to be there are three major infrastructure the hazards of the natural
invisible. systems around you. environment. Heating our homes,
providing us with safe water to drink
The system of pipes and wires which Electricity comes from distant and carrying waste are the most
lets your toilet flush and your lights generation factories and is carried basic functions of the infrastructure
shine, which powers the computer over a fragile grid. systems around us.
and the stove, is intended to
function perfectly 365 days each Drinking water comes from a Other functions, like providing
year, 24 hours each day. reservoir or well, and is purified in electrical power to machines and
another factory and piped to you. light are primarily quality of life
Relatively short outages draw our improvements which compliment
attention. A quarter second power Sewage is carried away over a the basic health-protection services
outage loses work on our computer. separate system of pipes using more which infrastructure generates.
A two day water problem due to a fresh water.
burst pipe feels like a return to the Infrastructure is a public health
medieval age. Infrastructure is N a t u r a l g a s , s t o r m w a t e r, system. It is from this perspective
universal, invisible and frequently communications including internet we will examine it further.
very, very expensive and difficult to fill out the basic package.
Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2

Layers of infrastructure
As previously noted, infrastructure is The ownership arrangements In general there are seven common
expensive. Making a service like around essential services like layers of infrastructure ownership.
electricity available can be very electricity are often fiendishly
e x p e n s i ve . O n e ap p ro a c h t o complex mixtures of market 1. Individual
reducing those costs is to build big, relationships, law and governance. 2. Household
efficient systems like power stations. 3. Neighborhood / Village
But this requires a large organization A typical arrangement is something 4. Municipality / Town / City
to raise the capital required to like this. A government generates a 5. Region
construct the system, and a long contract to provide ser vices, 6. Country
period of stability to pay for it. operate sections of a national grid. 7. International
Companies bid to operate local
Part of the success of the developed power stations and sell power into A b o v e t h e h o u s e h o l d l ay e r
world is that it has successfully the grid. Quality and standards are infrastructure systems typically have
financed and deployed complex sometimes set by professional complex and sometimes conflicted
infrastructure systems, making basic bodies which are not bound to any relationships between their owners,
services like electricity available, given nation state. These, plus fuel users and guards. Small-scale
cheap and near-perfect. It involves contracts, transportation contracts, systems often have much simpler
science, technology, engineering, law, health and safety regulations, anti- financial and administrative models,
finance, a large and sophisticated trust laws and so on comprise the making them easier to
manufacturing base , educated complex system of ownership which deploy in distressed
workers and many other systems to lets you turn on a light switch. environments.
produce cheap and effective
Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2

Four tiers of cooperation

Individuals, groups, organizations and
nation states are the four tiers of
cooperation possible when individuals
work together. Each tier requires its
o w n i n f r a s t r u c t u re p l u s t h e
infrastructure of the tier s of
cooperation it rests upon.

Individuals make up groups using organization

infrastructure to enable connection
and cohesion.

Individuals in groups sharing common

purposes form organizations which
require social infrastructure to
maintain their effectiveness.

Individuals, working together in injury




organizations and groups, form the






nation state which requires individual

infrastructure to provide services


for the benefit of individual citizens. hunger

Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2

SCIM: Group
A group is any collection of people. It 1. Communications
could be as few as two. Typical A group has to be able to exchange
groups include families, fellow communications messages (voice, phones, mail, sms)
travelers on a bus or a plane, or any or it cannot act together.
social group.
2. Space
Groups have complex psychology the resource Most groups need places to
related to inclusion and exclusion
group control physically gather, like a home for a
and degrees of allegiance to one family or a local cafe for a set of
group or another. A lot has been friends.
written about those matters, and
they are beyond our scope here. 3. Transportation
Groups that do not simply stay in
The basic requirements for a group one place need to have members be
to exist are fairly similar. Most able to leave and return. Walking
groups require communications,, Some groups are structured so they counts.
transport and space. They use can function with less dependence
infrastructure like offices, cell communications, transportation or 4. Resource Control
phones and car pools. Internal space. Shared resources are used
systems keep resources available in a way that supports
where they are needed. the group.
Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2

SCIM: Organization
An organization is a special kind of 1. Shared Map
group with a purpose beyond the shared The people in an organization must
combined purposes of the members. map share a map of reality - their aims,
Hospitals, police forces, fire brigades, responsibilities, environment of
armies and schools are all examples operation and so on. Some fraying is
of organizations. acceptable, but not much.

An effective organization has all the 2. Shared Plan

needs of a group, plus three From the shared map comes a
necessary pieces of "social shared shared plan, subject to the diffusion
infrastructure." These give an shared of power and responsibility within
organization the coordination and plan the organization.
unity of purpose that it needs. Social
infrastructure is often as essential to 3. Shared Succession Model
an organization's success as physical Organizations often require services Most importantly, if the current
infrastructure. from other organizations. For leadership of an organization is not
example, a hospital may require performing, there must be a shared
O r g a n i z a t i o n s o f t e n re q u i re police and power to be available. model of how to select new
specialized accommodation and These dependencies can be shown leaders. This can be critical
equipment to fulfill their purpose. effectively on the SCIM matrix (see in times of urgent crisis.
These additional infrastructure below.)
needs must also be mapped.
Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2

SCIM: Nation State

A nation state or government is a 1. Jurisdiction
special kind of social organization The state should provide an effective
which carries vast responsibility and jurisdiction system of law and law enforcement.
power. Specific infrastructure
systems are required to keep a 2. Citizens
nation state running. territory citizens Certain individuals are citizens of
the state, while others are visitors.
Nation states in crisis can face The state should know.
problems like inability to identify
their own citizens, to establish clear 3. Territory
jurisdiction, and to control territory. effective international There must be an agreed area in
Civil wars are especially destructive organizations recognition which the state has control.
because they challenge statehood at
its root. 4. Effective Organizations
Modern technology can streamline These arms of the state collectively
Organizations like the police, many of these areas. For example define its effectiveness.
military, and court system make the GPS and satellite provide accurate
state able to sustain itself and territorial maps. CheapID uses 5. International Recognition
provide services to its citizens. biometrics and cryptography to Required for full sovereignty
States may also provide provide identity services to citizens. and entry to international
infrastructure services like a national "State in a box" examines this high bodies.
grid, ports and airports. tech approach in more detail.
Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2

SCIM: INAM State Failure Map

T h e p rev i o u s s i m p l e c r i t i c a l

international recognition
effective institutions
shared succession
infrastructure maps are drawn for a

resource control

additional needs
additional needs
additional needs

territory map
shared plan
shared map


citizens list
particular situation for individuals,

too cold
too hot



Analysis groups, organizations and nation
(INAM) states. The SCIM Matrix combines
data from these to show where all
critical resources come from.
For example, a hospital depends on
specific data about supplies, a dd i t i o n a l n e e d s - fo r a power company, and its own diesel
village / needs, interdependencies example, electrical power to
neighborhood and so on should be listed in operate hospital equipment, backup systems. The power
town / city / each cell of the INAM or supply chains for specific company in turn needs fuel.
municipality spreadsheet drugs and medical supplies
region The INAM matrices can grow quite
large when filled in with accurate
the actual shape of the local additional needs combined information about a given situation,
p owe r n e t wo r k , w a t e r w i t h s p e c i fi c e n t i t i e s
network and so on can be provides a comprehensive
particularly when interdependence
mapped by municipalities mapping framework - across is taken into consideration - the
specific entities and made available to groups the many levels of control power and water companies
e.g. power wishing to do their own and locality - of the actual
resilience analysis system externalities. depend on each other in
many cases, for example.
or ports /
Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2
Needs SCIM village / town / city /
individual household region country world
Analysis neighborhood municipality
Matrix injury army
(INAM) medical / police

resilience gap
toilets sewer system sewage plants
thirst water supply water mains water processing
hunger food supply chain retailer logistics bulk logistics imports intl markets
too cold heating local grid power plants national grid fuel imports intl markets
too hot cooling not shown
power company
transport fuel supply ports / airports travel / embargos
diesel generators undersea cables
communications electricity cell towers, cables local hubs regional hubs fiber lines satcom
resource control sharing administration rule of law civil jurisdiction

typical developed
shared succession world nation rule of law corporate jurisdiction
shared plan note: the axis are cohesion
shared map switched from the consensus objective facts
previous diagram ("legal facts")

international recognition consent of governed legitimacy of state

effective institutions staff space, transport, communications, resource control - succession, plan, map
citizens list identity files
territory map
land registries sovereign lands SCIM
jurisdiction legal processes
Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2

Next Steps
Our organization now offers Authors Contact Us
training and consultancy on historic Mike Bennett Please get in touch with us to discuss
risk management. Simple Critical As founder managing director of your organization's strategy for
Infrastructure Maps is part of our Plain Software, Mike played a vital dealing with historic risks, and the
library of tools for enabling effective role in the development of NHS critical infrastructure implications of
action to be taken on a wide variety Direct. He is now a strategic those scenarios.
of risks, across a range of scenarios. consultant on social, business and
government resilience.
We are particularly interested in
mitigating state failure and welcome Vinay Gupta License
consulting around failed states. Co-editor of Small is Profitable (The
Economist's book of the year 2003)
Planning for organizational resilience and Winning the Oil Endgame, Vinay
during dramatic change, particularly focusses on whole systems response
for critical infrastructure and service to crisis and change mitigation. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons

organizations, is another area of Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England

& Wales License.

To view a copy of this license, visit
profound interest to us. Being able
or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second
to open effective communication SCIM is the underlying model for Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105,
between vendors and consumers of the US Department of Defense
critical infrastructure services is a STAR-TIDES project on crisis
key area of our practice. Forming a response and humanitarian relief.
shared language is key. (see Defense Horizons #70)
Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2

Maintaining infrastructure
There are six typical problems 4. System Externalities In the event of failure, infrastructure
maintaining infrastructure. Not all of Some infrastructure systems need systems cease to operate optimally.
these problems are external. inputs from other systems to This can have three effects:
operate. For example, power plants
1. Neglect fail without fuel. 1. Services become unavailable
Without proper maintenance , (provision)
including but not limited to repairing 5. Economics
time and wear, infrastructure Economic declines can make 2. Service prices rise steeply (cost)
systems fail. expensive infrastructure systems
inoperable by cutting demand below 3. Service standards drop, such as
2. Time and wear the level at which the service is dirty water and unreliable electricity
Even if infrastructure maintenance is financially viable. Multiple systems (quality)
not neglected systems eventually may be affected simultaneously with
need to be replaced. serious human impacts and These changes can have effects
increased overall societal fragility. ranging from inconvenience through
3. Operators to widespread death. It depends on
Infrastructure systems require 6. Violence / Disaster the degree to which an area
skilled operators to run and Natural disaster, war and terrorism requires infrastructure to keep
maintain them. This may be a very can all destroy infrastructure people alive and society
serious issue in pandemics. suddenly and unexpectedly. War stable.
complicates service restoration
because of ongoing violence.
Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2

Provision, cost and quality

Infrastructure has three kinds of Making essential services like This reduction in service cost by
effects on essential services. electricity cheap and reliable has centralization is an example of
very strong economic effects. If economies of scale. Water, electricity,
1. Provision every business had to operate a sewage processing, and natural gas
To make a service (like electricity) diesel generator during its hours of provision have been centralized to
available where it was previously operation, everything would be cut the cost per unit of essential
unavailable. much more expensive. The air would services.
be filled with smoke, and junk yards
2. Cost would fill with obsolete generators. In distressed environments there are
To reduce the cost of a service often serious issues with service
relative to other ways of providing it, By centralizing energy generation, quality and availability. Water is often
like centralized water vs. local wells. certain kinds of efficiency are contaminated, power is not reliable
created. Coal-fired power stations or has voltage spikes and brownouts,
3. Quality cause far less pollution than local diesel may be dirty. Price per unit of
To improve the quality of a service, diesel generators do. Many high-tech service can be ten or more times
such as by providing pure water power stations working together what it would cost in a developed
rather than river water. produce ultra-reliable grid service. world economy.

Good infrastructure makes services But to get this cheap electricity is

reliable, cheap and near-perfect. Bad very, very expensive. The investment
infrastructure is patchy, expensive in systems is huge. These costs are
and of poor quality. met with large, strong economies.
Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2

Service delivery paths

Infrastructure services reach users Natural gas, for example, is seldom Keeping essential services available
by four service delivery paths produced on site, except in the case to people in a crisis can require
of biodigesters. But it can come careful thinking about real needs -
1. Produce on site(solar) from the grid, delivery, or fetch perhaps switching from grid services
2. Grid services (power, water) methods. to local production or resources
3. Delivery (water, gas) which can be stockpiled.
4. Fetch (food, batteries) Electricity, on the other hand, can be
produced on site using solar, wind or Local production can replace
Consider drinking water. It can be microhydro but is very hard to resources from a grid. Resources
made available in all four ways. deliver or fetch except in tiny which can be delivered or fetched
quantities using batteries. can be stockpiled in case of supply
1. A well can produce water on site interruptions. Diesel generators can
2. Grid water can come from the tap Wireless telecommunications are a convert diesel, which can be
3. A truck can deliver water special instance of grid services. stockpiled and transported, into
4. People can bring the water from a Although cell phone networks and electricity which cannot be
well or river nearby, or buy it in a satellite phones are more robust effectively stored. Solar and wind
supermarket. Shopping is the usual than wired systems, it is important can substitute for grid services in a
model for "fetch" in the developed not to ignore the issues around stable and sustainable fashion in
world. "backhaul" (long distance cables) and many areas. Careful system
base station / cell tower redesign, including use of
Not all essential services can be infrastructure. Wireless systems are efficient end-use devices,
made available using all four systems. not immune to disruption in crisis. can promote resilience.
Dealing in Security 2010.07.9/v3.2

Centralization and decentralization

Service centralization comes at Decentralized infrastructure is the From an infrastructure mapping
considerable cost. Although a single wave of both the past and the future. point of view, the critical distinction
large centralized power station can Old decentralized systems were between centralized/decentralized
power an entire town, it can take things like water mills and pit systems is dependencies. Centralized
many years to build and as long as latrines - systems which ran directly systems typically have large and
30 years to pay for itself. If there is a from the natural world to provide complex networks of requirements
system failure, this large, single point basic services. to operate, but operate at high
of failure must be repaired quickly. efficiency. Whether the input is fuel
The cost of maintaining ultra-reliable New decentralized infrastructure is or chlorine or spare parts, it seems
centralized systems can be very high. systems like solar panels, local water that in general the cost of efficiency
But in stable times, these systems purification (SODIS or SOPAS,), is complex dependencies and overall
produce incredibly cheap services. advanced composting toilets, wind system brittleness.
energy and so on. Note that many
Decentralized infrastructure like decentralized energy systems can be Decentralized systems typically have
local CHP, solar or wind installations tied together in a grid configuration few dependencies or none at all, and
can take advantage of economies of but it is not always necessary or what dependencies exist are often
agility. They are bought as needed profitable to do so. simple (lubricating oils or distilled
rather than planned decades in water.) This can make decentralized
advance, scaled to fit needs, can be Many decentralized infrastructure systems more trustworthy
upgraded piecemeal or moved and systems run from renewable in a crisis.
generally have much lower risk. resources and so provide insulation
from fuel price / availability issues.