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Technology and information sharing in disaster relief

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

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This paper seeks to examine the extent to which technological advances can enhance inter-organizational information sharing in disaster relief. Our case is the Virtual OSOCC (On-Site Operations Coordination Centre) which is a part of the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) under the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA). The online platform, which has been developing for more than a decade, provides a unique insight into coordination behaviour among disaster management agencies and individual actors. We build our study on the analysis of a complete database of user interaction including more than 20,000 users and 11,000 comments spread across approximately 300 disaster events. Controlling for types and severities of the events, location-specific vulnerabilities, and the overall trends, we find that the introduction of new features have led to increases in user activity.We supplement the data-driven approach with evidence from semi-structured interviews with administrators and key users, as well as a survey among all users specifically designed to capture and assess the elements highlighted by both interviews and data analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0161783
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume11
Issue number9
Number of pages20
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

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