Towards an Understanding of Digital Disaster Response Workflow in Humanitarian Emergencies

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Published Nov 4, 2019
Najeeb Gambo Abdulhamid

Abstract

This paper examines the workflow of digital volunteers during disaster response operations. It reveals how digital volunteers go through sense-making activities to filter crowdsourced information to warrant confidence that the data satisfies the standard of engagement, production and analysis. We do so by studying a digital disaster response organisation - Humanity Road - through fifteen response operations across thirteen countries using digital ethnography over a period of sixteen months. This is a qualitative study using virtual ethnographic method. The data collection of this study incorporates a diverse range of sources such as Skype chat logs, field notes, social media postings, and official documents. Based on the findings of this study we proposed a framework that offers structured workflow for the communities of practice within the domain of Digital Humanitarian Networks. Our findings suggest practical implications for both the digital humanitarian organisations and governments of the disaster-prone countries.

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