Linking up the last mile: how humanitarian power relations shape community e-resilience

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Abstract

In this paper we present a qualitative, social network based, power analysis of relief and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal. We examine how the interplay between humanitarian power relations and e-resilience influenced communities’ ability to respond to the destruction brought about by the disaster. We focus in particular on how power dynamics affect online spaces and interactions at the hyper local level (or ‘the last mile’). We explain how civic technology initiatives are affected by these power relationships and show how their efforts may reinforce social inequalities – or be sidelined – if power dynamics are not taken into consideration. However, on the basis of a case study based power analysis, we show that when civic technology initiatives do strategically engage with these dynamics, they have the potential to alter harmful power relations that limit community e-resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISCRAM 2017 Conference Proceedings – 14th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management
Place of Publicationhttp://idl.iscram.org/files/tinacomes/2017/1440_TinaComes_etal2017.pdf
Pages715-725
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)2411-3387
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Power relations, e-resilience, humanitarian disaster, social capital, Nepal.

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    Mulder, F., & Boersma, F. K. (2017). Linking up the last mile: how humanitarian power relations shape community e-resilience. In ISCRAM 2017 Conference Proceedings – 14th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (pp. 715-725). http://idl.iscram.org/files/tinacomes/2017/1440_TinaComes_etal2017.pdf