Digital Volunteers in Emergency Management   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Thesis Abstract: "The meteoric rise of social media applications has fundamentally altered the way citizens share information, but after more than a decade, public safety agencies continue to grapple with how to integrate them into operations. Building on prior research on digital volunteers in humanitarian response, this thesis examined whether the social media model had the potential to enrich sensemaking in emergency operations centers. Interviews were conducted with senior public safety leaders to illuminate the potential advantages and impediments to this strategy, as well as their current integration of social media information. There was universal agreement that social media offers unique insight not replicated by other means. However, the clearest use case was to assist with public messaging in a crisis event. The responders were concerned about the veracity of social media posts, expressed most clearly by law enforcement interviewees. Additionally, there were concerns about how social media information could be broadly shared across agencies to ensure a shared situational awareness. Recommendations include creating a liaison position in the emergency operations center to serve as a social media coordination point, standardizing situational awareness data standards, and leveraging new patterns of volunteer information sharing."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/
Media Type:
Cohort CA1501/1502
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