Investigating Social Media in Disasters
The 2013 World Disasters Report uses the term 'humanitarian technology' to refer to the empowering nature of digital technologies for disaster recovery enabling affected communities to organize and respond to their own problems. The Humanitarian Technologies Project Workshop critically engages this optimistic account of communication technologies as we report from our ESRC-funded research on the recovery from Typhoon Haiyan (http://www.esrc.ac.uk/my-esrc/grants/ES.M001288.1/read). Haiyan, the strongest storm ever recorded, hit the Philippine islands in November 2014 leaving a trail of widespread destruction and triggering a massive humanitarian response. Our workshop will present the key findings from our 10-month ethnography with affected communities as well as humanitarian workers and other stakeholders.
Our final workshop aims to reflect on the lessons from the Haiyan recovery which may be applicable to to other disaster contexts. Some of the questions we address include: how are old and new platforms used by affected communities to make their voices heard and increase their visibility? Do new communication technologies increase the transparency of relief efforts and do they improve the accountability of humanitarian agencies? Do new communication technologies empower local communities or do they create new dependencies and inequalities?
Our workshop invites representatives from humanitarian agencies and academics to discuss the opportunities as well as risks that new communication technologies pose in disaster recovery. The project team led by Dr Mirca Madianou (Media and Communications, Goldsmiths) will be presenting preliminary findings from the project and John Borton (Overseas Development Institute), Monica Krause (Sociology, Goldsmiths) and Barb Wigley (World Food Programme) will be giving their expert feedback.
You must register to attend this event. Please contact Dr. Liezel Longboan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dates & times
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