Crowdsourcing in the Humanitarian Network – An Analysis of the Literature

The recent explosion of Internet technology enabled the world to be more and more connected. With such a new network, the possibilities of crowdsourced e volunteer efforts rise during disasters. People from around the world can act as an emergency responder by fulfilling simple tasks, which in the mass have proven to be a valuable support to humanitarian aid agencies. The crowd can also just act as a sensor or social computer, where their real-time online reports in social media can contain useful information during a crisis. International organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank are increasingly joining crowdsourcing projects and seek support from upcoming Volunteer Technical Organizations (VTC), that perform crowdsourcing. Mostly the cost-efficiency and timeliness data delivery is fostering this new movement, which has its clear advantages over traditional efforts that generally need more time. A quick answer to a disaster is indispensable for emergency agencies. But for all that, challenges remain to be investigated. Accuracy, trust and security issues particularly hinder the adoption of crowdsourced data, although several solutions exist. This paper seeks to define the humanitarian aid crowdsourcing community, the associated projects and the challenges and chances that come with incorporating crowdsourced information in disaster response.



About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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