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Role of social media in promoting

community participation in
disaster management
The role of social media in promoting community participation in
disaster management.

Definition of disaster
What is disaster management
Definition of social media and platforms of social media
Definition of community participation
The role of social media in promoting community participation
in disaster management.
A disaster is a sudden, calamitous event that seriously
disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes
human, material, and economic or environmental losses that
exceed the communitys or societys ability to cope using its
own resources. Though often caused by nature, disasters can
have human origins (Red Cross and Red Crescent National

Disaster Management can be defined as the organization and

management of resources and responsibilities for dealing with
all humanitarian aspects of emergencies, in
particular preparedness, response and recovery in order to
lessen the impact of disasters.
Social media is the collective
of online communications
channels dedicated to
community-based input,
interaction, content-sharing
and collaboration. Websites
and applications dedicated
to forums, microblogging, soci
al networking , social
bookmarking, social curation,
and wikis are among the
different types of social
community participation is a planned process whereby local
groups (communities) are clarifying and expressing their own
needs and objectives and taking collective action to meet them.
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As the involvement of people in a community projects to solve
their own problems.
In recent years, social media has exploded as a category of online
discourse where people create content, share it, bookmark it and
network at a prodigious rate. The five key characteristics of social
media: collectivity; connectedness; completeness; clarity and
collaboration lend itself to be used increasingly playing a vital role
to support disaster management functions via community
participation. These roles includes
This is an info
graphics data
showing the result of
a survey for the
source of information
to Nigerians over the
pass five years.
Most importantly the
use of social media
has gain a significant
increased from 2% in
2007 to 20% in 2015
Information dissemination. Information dissemination through
social media tools is an effective means to provide reliable
information quickly to the public to enable them to better prepare
for and respond to crisesIt was reported within an hour of the
earthquake, more than 1,200 tweets per minute were being sent
from Tokyo (Horwath, 2011). Twitter reported that the day of the
earthquake 177 million tweets were recorded, setting a new record
(Dunn, 2011). Even the office of the Prime Minister created a
Facebook page with English translations of official press briefings and
updates, in order to keep the international community informed
(Appleby, 2013). Furthermore, following the nuclear plant blast in
Fukushima, there was a considerable increase in the use of Ustream,
a website that provides a platform for lifecasting and live video
streaming of many diverse channels (Appleby, 2013)
Information dissemination Disaster planning and training
Disaster planning and training
Gamification4 leverages social media for disaster planning
and training to promote personnel training, scenario
planning and collaboration between various emergency
management agencies from the public sector, private sector
and civil society organizations. Gamification can enhance
current disaster management practices through sustained
stakeholder training and collaboration. In this respect, the
Kenyan Red Cross and the World Bank bring together
disaster relief experts and software engineers to work on
identifying key challenges and to develop possible solutions
through interactive discussions to overcome a range of
possible scenarios related to natural disaster risk and
Collaborative problem solving and decision making
Crowd-sourcing using social media facilitates collaborative
problem solving and decision making by integrating
various streams of information from mobile and web-
based technologies to fill the perceived sense-making and
information gaps as well as to aggregate, analyze and plot
data about urgent humanitarian needs. As the knowledge
base grows, authorities become better positioned to
manage and respond to a range of possible disaster-
related scenarios. As an illustration, responders from the
United States Institute of Peace collect information to
improve their situational awareness so as to make more
informed decisions on the allocation of resources based on
emerging trends;
Information gathering. On-the-scene footage, citizen
journalism and disaster assessment are central to information
gathering for coordinating emergency response. Al Jazeera uses
a community platform that leverages on email, mobile text
messages and smart phone applications, to allow the public to
voice their concerns, perceptions, and thoughts regarding on-
going developments.
With increasingly more individuals using their mobile phones
to go online worldwide, surpassing time spent on traditional
media such as television, radio and print, it would be essential
to carefully consider how social media applications can be
incorporated into an integrated disaster management platform
for effective disaster management. Leveraging social media
technologies for disaster management provide citizens with a
greater role in preparing for and managing crises which will
help build resilient communities. Embracing resilience as a civic
value and a social norm should ultimately be the way forward
to encourage citizens to take the actions necessary to help
themselves and others during times of disaster.
Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies
Sarah, P., and Ethan, H. (2008). Social medias new role in emergency
management. Idaho National Laboratory.

Social Media in Emergency Management, Department of Homeland Security,

Studies and Analysis Institute. USA.

Rive, G., Hare, J., Thomas, J. & Nankivell, K. (2012). Social Media in an
Emergency: A Best Practice Guide. Wellington Region CDEM Group: