Government and Disaster Resilience Minitrack

Permanent URI for this collection

The 21st Century has been termed “the century of disasters.” Worldwide there were twice as many disasters and catastrophes in the first decade of this century as in the last decade of the 20th Century. All continents are affected, both directly and indirectly. And the trend continues, fueled by climate change, demographic changes and social dynamics. The serious challenges facing government in cities, regions and nations of the world relate to acute shocks (such as forest fires, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, pandemics and terrorist attacks) and chronic stresses (such as high unemployment, inefficient public transport systems, endemic violence, chronic shortages of food and water).

Now we are in the era to consider how to deal with these unexpected consequences, not only preventing it before it happens. In other words, we should develop a disaster-resilient community to adapt the society to this new world. This minitrack features government (national, regional and municipal) roles in developing disaster resilience since they are responsible for saving lives of citizens, coordinating relief operations with different organizations and so on. In addition to this, roles of information systems and technologies to enhance disaster resilience and capability of the government are also essential to discuss. We invite papers that deal with any aspect of the analysis, design, development, deployment, implementation, integration, operation, use or evaluation of ICT for discussing government roles for disaster resilience.

Minitrack topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Response management systems and frameworks
  • Recovery frameworks
  • Hazard-specific and all-hazard planning frameworks and technologies
  • International disaster response collaborations
  • Early warning systems
  • Current practices in incident management
  • Identified and potential pitfalls in incident management
  • Situational awareness and the common operating picture—practices and challenges
  • Real-time and ICT-supported analysis of social media for gaining disaster intelligence
  • Mobile devices as sensors and incident management tools
  • Resilient information and communication infrastructures (FirstNet, etc)
  • Data-science approaches to real-time data collection and analysis in disasters
  • Government’s role in building resilient communities
  • Preparedness and mitigation via resilient infrastructures
  • Lessons from recent disaster responses
  • Vulnerabilities in government response infrastructures (in particular, ICT infrastructures)
  • Interoperability of ICTs used government disaster response management
  • Emergency Operations Center ICTs and their effectiveness
  • Reconnaissance technologies
  • Disaster Management-related education and training
  • Complexity management in disaster response

Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Mihoko Sakurai (Primary Contact)
University of Agder, Norway

Emma S. Spiro
University of Washington

Jose Julio Gonzalez
University of Agder, Norway


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 6
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    Resilience in the Gaze of Ebola: Analysis from a Developing Country
    ( 2017-01-04) Guah, Matthew Waritay
    Many studies have looked at resilience during natural disasters and national emergencies in a number of countries but hardly any have concentrated on developing countries and the implications of these nations’ sub-standard healthcare infrastructure, culture practices and relaxed control systems. This paper examines resilience during Liberia’s recent EBOLA epidemic and identifies lessons to be learned by others including executives of Non-Governmental Organizations frequently working on disaster relief projects in developing countries. The author builds on existing bodies of work and presents arguments on why governments in developing countries dealing with disaster management and disease emergencies should encourage communities to innovate autonomously as an important pathway to resilience. While the author does not provide specific recommendations, the paper proposes an approach that can connect the concerns of those implementing resilience initiatives and vulnerable populations by harnessing their potential for innovating autonomously
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    Promoting Resiliency in Emergency Communication Networks: A Network Interdiction Modeling Approach
    ( 2017-01-04) Bartolacci, Michael ; Dimitrov, Stanko ; LeBlanc, Larry
    Emergency communication networks provide the basis for preparing for, and responding to, manmade and natural disasters. With the increasing importance of information security, emergency network operators such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local and national governmental agencies, and traditional network operators must deal with the possibility of sabotage and hacking of such networks. A network interdiction modeling approach is proposed that can be utilized for planning purposes in order to identify and protect critical parts of the network infrastructure. These critical nodes or links represent opportunities where investment or "hardening" of such infrastructure may reduce or prevent reductions in network traffic flows created by nefarious actors prior, during, or after an emergency or disaster.
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    Informational Challenges in Early Disaster Response: The Massive Oso/SR530 Landslide 2014 as Case in Point
    ( 2017-01-04) Scholl, Hans J ; Ballard, Stephanie ; Carnes, Sarah ; Herman, Andy ; Parker, Neal
    In disasters, and more so in catastrophes, one of the most daunting problems to professional responders is gaining situational awareness. Unfortunately, truly actionable information (intelligence) is missing in the first days and even weeks of responding. Consequently, incomplete situational awareness brings on a distorted common operating picture leading to suboptimal direction of responses, so more lives are lost, and more damage is inflicted. This study reports on the challenges emergency responders faced in the immediate aftermath of the 2014 massive landslide near Oso, WA. Over a hundred agencies were involved in the response, which presented a huge coordination task for the incident command. This study identifies and describes various challenges in the early response and also discusses recommendations on how to tackle and potentially mitigate the chal- lenges identified in future responses.
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    Group Decision Support Systems for Emergency Management and Resilience: CoastalProtectSIM
    ( 2017-01-04) Zhao, Xiaoyi ; Chen, Yumei ; Ku, Minyoung ; Rich, Eliot ; Deegan, Michael ; Luna-Reyes, Luis
    This paper introduces the concept of Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) as a tool to support emergency management in coastal cities. As an illustration of the potential value of GDSS, we discuss the use of CoastalProtectSIM, a simulation model that can be a valuable GDSS tool, particularly in the mitigation stages of the emergency management cycle. We present preliminary results from the use of the simulation environment in a graduate course. We finish the paper by presenting our experience as a framework for building more efficient and secure emergency management systems through the use of GDSS.
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    Exploring Effective Ecosystems in Disaster Management: Case studies of Japan and Nepal
    ( 2017-01-04) Sakurai, Mihoko ; Spiro, Emma ; Gonzalez Jose Jolio
    Existing literature argues that taking a holistic approach to disaster management is important for organizations in achieving resilience. However, theoretical underpinnings are lacking to achieve a holistic understanding. This paper applies the notion of an ecosystem as a holistic lens to understand complex disaster management. \ \ We report two case studies from Japan and Nepal to illustrate how an ecosystem works during a disaster. The Japan case is a government initiative, whereas the Nepal case is a non-governmental initiative. The theoretical framework of information ecology is used in analyzing the cases. \ \ Based on the findings, we formulate three propositions that show important elements of ecosystems to approach resilience. The study suggests that coevolution is a key to respond to constantly changing situations during a disaster. To accomplish ecosystem coevolution, creating a collaboration system with governments and local communities and embedding local knowledge into the system are essential. Furthermore, digital tools can play a critical role in the coevolution process. \