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A Framework for Analyzing Digital Volunteer Contributions in Emergent Crisis Response Efforts

June 29, 2017 by Chul Hyun Park, Erik W. Johnston

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Advances in information, communication, and computational technologies allow digital volunteer networks formed by concerned publics across the globe to contribute to an effective response to disasters and crises. Digital volunteer networks are event-centric and emergent networks. Currently, the literature is sharply growing in the fields of communication, computer science, emergency management, and geography. This article aims to assess the current status of the literature and suggest a comprehensive conceptual framework of digital volunteer networks in response to disasters and crises. This framework is based on a traditional input–process–output model consisting of three dimensions: the disaster and crisis context, a voluntary response process, and outputs and outcomes. We also discuss challenges of digital volunteer networks for crisis response. This article is expected to contribute to the development of related theories and hypotheses and practical strategies for managing digital volunteer networks.