EECentre

Additional Resource

Technology and Information Sharing in Disaster Relief through the Virtual OSOCC

Case Study

This paper seeks to examine the extent to which technological advances can enhance inter-organizational information sharing in disaster relief. It directs focus to the Virtual OSOCC (On-Site Operations Coordination Centre), which is a part of the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) under the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA). The online platform, which has been developing for more than a decade, provides a unique insight into coordination behaviour among disaster management agencies and individual actors. The paper studies the analysis of a complete database of user interaction including more than 20,000 users and 11,000 comments spread across approximately 300 disaster events. Controlling for types and severities of the events, location-specific vulnerabilities, and the overall trends, it finds that the introduction of new features have led to increases in user activity. It supplements the data-driven approach with evidence from semi-structured interviews with administrators and key users, as well as a survey among all users specifically designed to capture and assess the elements highlighted by both interviews and data analysis.

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