LINKS Project Looks to Strengthen Disaster Resilience Through Social Media and Crowdsourcing

LINKS, a project funded by the European Commission, is identifying ways to strengthen disaster resilience through the uses of Social Media and Crowdsourcing technologies.

The project brings together 15 participating organisations and 2 associated partners across Europe and beyond, to investigate how social media and crowdsourcing can be used in disaster management processes.

The aim of the project is to conduct a comprehensive study on the uses and impacts of social media and crowdsourcing (SMCS) for disaster management purposes, and to better understand the ways in which the different stakeholders can collaborate in these processes.

The primary objectives of LINKS are twofold.

The project is developing the LINKS Framework, comprised of methods, tools and guidelines for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers, in order to optimise the uses of SMCS in disaster management. The Framework will be evaluated across 5 different cases including earthquakes in Italy, flooding in Denmark, industrial hazards in the Netherland, and drought and terrorism in Germany.

The project is also building a community of key stakeholders engaging with SMCS in disasters, including practitioners, industries, policy/decision makers, scientific communities, and citizens. The LINKS community will be function as a sustainable forum for the ongoing exchange of knowledge, experiences, and best practices around the uses and misuses of SMCS in disasters.

A European Partnership

The LINKS Consortium brings together the expertise of 15 participating organisations and 2 associated partners across Europe (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands) and beyond (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Japan).

LINKS on the Starting Blocks

The project is in the early stages. Currently the consortium has held internal seminars and “pilot” workshops with practitioners to better understand how they would include SMCS in their operations in different scenarios, what practices are already in use, and what is needed. The consortium is also working on studies of the state-of-the-art across the three knowledge domains of the project, and in relation to SMCS: disaster risk perception and social vulnerability, the governance processes for disaster management, and the use of technologies in disaster management.

Through in-depth literature reviews, these studies identify the present knowledge on the roles in which SMCS plays on perceptions and vulnerabilities in disasters, and the processes and tools which communities use to take action. The outputs from the studies will be made publicly available on the project website, and will form the basis for the development and evaluation of the LINKS Framework across the case assessments in the project.

For more information, see the LINKS website here.