Are you Ready2Help? Dilemmas in organizing citizen response to disaster.

A.J. Schmidt, J.J. Wolbers, F.K. Boersma, J.E. Ferguson, P. Groenewegen

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Over the last decade, the disaster response landscape is increasingly complemented by voluntary citizen initiatives on digital platforms. These developments have opened up opportunities for response agencies and NGOs to organize local community involvement. In this paper we focus on the question how citizen involvement can be proactively organized toward disaster relief and what kind of dilemmas may arise in this process. We studied Ready2Help, an online platform developed by the Dutch Red Cross. Bringing together 36.000 volunteers, the platform plays a significant role in addressing the current refugee crisis. In our analysis we demonstrate the platform’s potential, but also note a tension between control and cooperation. Our results indicate that, in contrast to their initial objective, during the crisis the Red Cross falls back on principles of control to organize citizen response efforts. We end by discussing our future research agenda aimed at bridging formal and emergent citizen responses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISCRAM 2016 Conference Proceedings – 13th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management
EditorsA. Tapia, P. Antunes, V.A. Bañuls, K. Moore, J. Porto
Place of PublicationRio de Janeiro, Brazil
PublisherFederal University of Rio de Janeiro
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventISCRAM 2016 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 1 Jan 20161 Jan 2016


ConferenceISCRAM 2016


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