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Exploring how social media and crowdsourcing can contribute to more disaster-resilient societies

This month, we highlight the LINKS project which has just reached its 1-year milestone. Amongst its top achievements have been three comprehensive studies across three core knowledge domains focusing on the social, institutional and technical dimensions of the role of social media and crowdsourcing during disasters. The findings from these studies, freely available, will be applied in the project’s upcoming fieldwork, due to begin in November 2021.

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Over the past year LINKS (Strengthening links between technologies and society for European disaster resilience) has taken up the challenge of digging deeper into the opportunities and challenges social media and crowdsourcing (SMCS) present in disaster settings. Despite the pandemic, the project has still been able to collaborate virtually across six European countries and 15 partner organisations to set the conceptual and methodological foundations for the upcoming field research. Together with local partners, LINKS will soon begin conducting studies across five diverse case scenarios including: flooding in Denmark, droughts and terrorism in Germany, earthquakes in Italy and industrial hazards in the Netherlands, to better understand the role of SMCS for local communities in disasters. Ultimately, all these studies will contribute to the LINKS Framework, a set of learning materials on the uses of SMCS in disasters for a wide variety of stakeholders, including practitioners, policymakers and local communities. It will be accessible to everyone through the LINKS Community Center (LCC), currently being designed as an interactive web-based platform. The project is interested in engaging with the broader crisis management community through the LCC and other project activities. To find out more about the project or about how to join the LINKS Community, please go to “Social media and crowdsourcing offer many opportunities for engaging with, and giving voices to, different stakeholders within a community which can support disaster risk management efforts and ultimately create more resilient societies. But at the same time there are still risks, challenges and unknowns associated with these technologies and processes which can just as easily compromise resilience.” - Nathan Clark, LINKS project coordinator


LINKS, social media, crowdsourcing, disasters, disaster-resilient societies

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