Challenges and obstacles in sharing and coordinating information during multi-agency disaster response

Name of the provider (company name or main contact name), or FIRE IN ID ? Bharosa, Nitesh; Lee, JinKyu; Janssen, Marijn

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Scope, rationale, context: general description. Precise here if this technology is currently use (eg. company name or contact info) Although various scholars have researched issues regarding disaster management, few have studied the sharing and coordinating of information during disasters. Not much empirical data is available in this field and there is sparse insight into the factors that may impede or facilitate information sharing and coordination among stakeholders. In this paper, we provide an overview of the relevant obstacles and challenges by examining existing literature and then investigating a series of multi-agency disaster management exercises, using observations and a survey. Although all the people who took part in our study agree that sharing information is important, for the success of their own organization as well as the exercise as a whole, the extent to which information is actually being shared among organizations is often limited by a number of factors that can be attributed to the community, agency and individual level. We found that relief workers are often more concerned with receiving information from others than with providing information to others who may benefit. Incentives for sharing information, understanding each other's work-processes and the usability of information systems have shown positive effects on information sharing and coordination. The findings of our study have been formulated using six grounded propositions, which can be used by system designers and policy-makers upon validation in further research. We also provide directions for future research.

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Although various scholars have researched issues regarding disaster management, few have studied the sharing and coordinating of information during disasters. Not much empirical data is available in this field and there is sparse insight into the factors that may impede or facilitate information sharing and coordination among stakeholders. In this paper, we provide an overview of the relevant obstacles and challenges by examining existing literature and then investigating a series of multi-agency disaster management exercises, using observations and a survey. Although all the people who took part in our study agree that sharing information is important, for the success of their own organization as well as the exercise as a whole, the extent to which information is actually being shared among organizations is often limited by a number of factors that can be attributed to the community, agency and individual level. We found that relief workers are often more concerned with receiving information from others than with providing information to others who may benefit. Incentives for sharing information, understanding each other's work-processes and the usability of information systems have shown positive effects on information sharing and coordination. The findings of our study have been formulated using six grounded propositions, which can be used by system designers and policy-makers upon validation in further research. We also provide directions for future research.

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published in 2010