Connecting emergency management organizations with digitally enabled emergent volunteering – Literature review and best practices


  1. Waldman, S.M.
  2. Kaminska, K.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Centre for Security Science, Ottawa ON (CAN)
Popular online platforms currently provide a virtual site for the convergence of citizens after emergencies. After convergence on online sites to gain information and participate in dialogue about emergencies, citizens may go on to spontaneously assume various online and off-line response and recovery tasks, which we have termed digitally enabled emergent volunteering (DEEV). DEEV represents surge capacity of voluntary labour and other assistance that can contribute to emergency relief and recovery operations in the aftermath of an emergency. The purpose of this research report is to assemble knowledge about DEEV from the fields of disaster sociology and crisis informatics, as well as from case studies, and to present best practices for how emergency management organizations (EMOs) can monitor for, engage with, and leverage this community resource while minimizing risks associated with spontaneous volunteering. Essential organizational elements for EMOs seeking to partner with the online public are a consistent program of social media monitoring and a dialogic approach to social media communications. Other important features of EMOs seeking to leverage DEEV activity to improve emergency outcomes are capacity to manage volunteer assets in the recovery and response phases of an emergency, as well as, flexible emergency management strategies that are open to collaboration with grassroots community groups.

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

volunteering;emergency management;social media
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2015-R271 — Scientific Report
Date of publication
01 Dec 2015
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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