Sophie Gerstmann, Hans Betke, & Stefan Sackmann. (2019). Towards Automated Individual Communication for Coordination of Spontaneous Volunteers. In Z. Franco, J. J. González, & J. H. Canós (Eds.), Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response And Management. Valencia, Spain: Iscram.
Abstract: In recent years, spontaneous volunteers often turned out to be a critical factor to overcome disaster situations and
avoid further damages to life and assets. These Volunteers coordinate their activities using social media and
mobile devices but are not integrated in usual command and control structures of disaster responders. The lack of
professional disaster response knowledge leads to a waste of potential workforce or even dangerous situations for
the volunteers. In this paper, a novel approach for a centralized coordination of spontaneous volunteers through
disaster response professionals while using popular communication channels esp. messaging services (e.g.
Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp) is presented. The architecture of a volunteer coordination system focusing on
automated multi-channel communication is shown and the possibilities of a universal chatbot for individual
assignment and scheduling of volunteers are discussed. The paper also provides first insights in a demonstrator
system as a practical solution.