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Elina Ramsell, Sofie Pilemalm, & Tobias Andersson Granberg. (2017). Using Volunteers for Emergency Response in Rural Areas – Network Collaboration Factors and IT support in the Case of Enhanced Neighbors. 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. 985–995). Albi, France: Iscram.
Abstract: In public services, there is a trend to increasingly utilize collaborations with non-professional volunteers for certain tasks, one example being emergency response. In many of these collaborations, information technology (IT) is an essential tool, and inadequate IT support can have far-reaching consequences--including even the loss of lives. Since a volunteer is a different type of actor, and may have different technical requirements, compared to professionals, there is a need to explore how collaborations between professionals and volunteers can be successfully developed. This paper is based on a case study of the Enhanced Neighbor project, which uses volunteers as first responders in emergency response. The study highlights important factors to consider when involving volunteers, including how IT can foster the collaboration, and the volunteers' needs for IT support.