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Willem J. Muhren, & Bartel A. Van De Walle. (2009). Sensemaking and information management in humanitarian disaster response: Observations from the TRIPLEX exercise. In S. J. J. Landgren (Ed.), ISCRAM 2009 – 6th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management: Boundary Spanning Initiatives and New Perspectives. Gothenburg: Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ISCRAM.
Abstract: The United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) system is designed to assist the United Nations in providing information during the first phase of a sudden-onset emergency and in the coordination of incoming international relief at the site of the emergency. In the immediate aftermath of such an emergency, the UNDAC team will set up an On-Site Operations Coordination Centre (OSOCC) from where the operational activities of the humanitarian organizations responding to the emergency are coordinated. Information management is a key aspect in this phase as the information gathering, processing, and disseminating activities will determine the timeliness and appropriateness of the response by the international humanitarian community. Through participatory observation in the international humanitarian “TRIPLEX” exercise we explore how information managers in the OSOCC make sense of the disaster, how the immediate needs are assessed, and discuss how information systems could improve Sensemaking in these activities.