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Veronika Zettl, Thomas Ludwig, Christoph Kotthaus, & Sascha Skudelny. (2017). Embedding Unaffiliated Volunteers in Crisis Management Systems: Deploying and Supporting the Concept of Intermediary Organizations. In eds Aurélie Montarnal Matthieu Lauras Chihab Hanachi F. B. Tina Comes (Ed.), Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response And Management (pp. 421–431). Albi, France: Iscram.
Abstract: Citizens engaging in crisis management spontaneously and without affiliation to an (honorary) aid organization are a social phenomenon on the rise. Even though public engagement is desirable, it receives mixed reactions by crisis management experts. They claim that “the crowd” has to be managed to ensure a successful crisis response and recovery, leading to high coordination efforts which cannot be achieved by the authorities. To understand the obstacles in cooperation and to overcome them better, this study examines existing patterns of cooperation. The study employed in-depth interviews (n=13) in two use cases (flooding, n=4; migrant crisis, n=9) with public authorities, aid organizations and engaged citizens. Results indicate that collaboration works successfully when an intermediary organization bridges the coordination gap between authorities and the public. In addition to the concept of intermediary organizations, two ICT approaches supporting collaboration in crisis events are described: Public Displays and the so-called 'Security Arena'.