The Role of Social Media in Trusted Collaboration for Disaster Relief

Project: Research project

Project Details


In order to facilitate trust and collaboration among organizations providing Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR), the ASU Coordination Tracker (ACT) system provides participating organizations capabilities to provide selective transparency and selective contribution for information management. Selective transparency ensures an organizations sensitive information is not available to other organizations. Selective contribution gives the organization the ability to provide only the information an organization is comfortable providing to other organizations or the public. A crisis map provides the organization with the ability to view crowdsource information about the crisis and also view information that is published to the relief group (groupsourced). Additionally, an organization can plot organization specific information on the groupsource map and determine whether or not it wants to publish its information to other members of the relief group. The organization can plot information about its own resources, personnel, and priorities on the map. A protected chat function provides the organization the capability to selectively communicate with other relief organizations by extending and/or accepting invitations to participate in private chat rooms. The needs a group has for specific items such as transportation or specialized personnel can also be published to trusted collaborating organizations. The status of such logistics requests are tracked and displayed through ACT. Giving a relief organization the ability to exercise selective transparency and selective contribution with its information is vital to overcoming known coordination barriers and facilitate efficient and effective coordination. Trust issues for coordinated disaster relief pose great challenges. Trust between partner organizations can help reduce growing complexity in HADR, mitigate uncertainty in chaotic situations, and lubricate cooperation. Distrust can cause significant delays in response, introduce unbalanced response coverage due to lack of coordination, and result in unnecessary losses of precious resources. In this work, we propose to study trust issues for coordinated disaster relief in the context of social media. In particular, we propose to investigate the following fundamental research issues: (1) What crucial trust issues in HADR are and what is the role of trust in information sharing for HADR via social media, (2) how collaborators can build trust in their repeated collaborative tasks using social media, and (3) how we can learn and estimate trust between collaborators, and control effects of trust toward conditional collaboration for building lasting trust using social media. This project is expanded by adding a social science expert as a subcontractor who will provide social science theories and unique expertise in our understanding social media data in order to gain crucial insights for building and strengthening ACTs capability in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Effective start/end date3/1/113/29/14


  • DOD-NAVY: Office of Naval Research (ONR): $866,861.00


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