D2.3 Impact of Social Media for EMS and citizens using EmerGent concepts, Version 1


Thomas Spielhofer, Kerstin Junge, Joe Cullen, David Drabble, Anna Sophie Hahne, Gasper Bizjak, Rajendra Akerkar, Christian Reuter, Marc-Andre Kaufhold, Tomasz Plasota, Grzegorz Wenarski, Alexis Gizikis


This Deliverable builds on the work produced in D.2.2 [JSGC+14], which presented the results of the first round of case studies carried out in work package 2, based on the 2011 London Riots, and which aimed to develop and apply the concept of impact assessment based on a “theory of change” approach. In this, the second round of case studies, the results of the first round are further developed and elaborated in the context of a number of examples of the use and impact of social media in emergencies that involved flooding. As with the first round, the methodology is based on a ‘multiple case study’ approach. The second round of case studies focused on five key themes that were highlighted in round one: social media usage; social media roles; information quality and the impact of ‘rumors’; the scale of social media data and organizational and professional obstacles or facilitators to enhancing the use of social media data in emergencies. Six case examples of flooding emergencies were studied in this second round, representing different locations and timeframes, i.e.: Germany (2013); Georgia (2015); Slovenia (2014); Poland (2010); Western Norway (2014); UK (2013-14). The Deliverable is set out as follows. Following this Introduction, Section 2 presents the case study methodology. Section 3 presents the case study ‘narratives’, focusing on what happened in the six examples studied. In Section 4, the key findings of the analysis are presented as well as the lessons learned. Section 5 presents the main conclusions from this second round of case studies, focusing in particular on their implications for the EmerGent ‘Theory of Change’. Section 6 presents the next steps planned in work package 2. The concluding section, Section 7, provides an overall summary of this Deliverable. All six case studies are provided in the Appendix (Appendices 1 to 6), as well as a summary of findings from a survey of citizens (Appendix 7) and results of an analysis of social media data of a very recent flooding emergency in Cumbria 2015 (Appendix 8).

Purpose of the document

This Deliverable contributes to Objective O1 of EmerGent – Analyze the impact of social media for citizens and for emergency services in the whole Emergency Management Cycle (EMC) today and tomorrow.  The specific objective of this Deliverable is to develop and update the Theory of Change presented in D2.1 [CSJD+14] and to test out and extend the hypotheses developed through the initial case study of the London riots presented in D2.2 [JSGC+14]. This is done via case studies of flooding in Germany, Georgia, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, and the UK to research the impact of social media on how emergency services responded and reacted during flooding emergencies (Task 2.2) and how citizens use social media in such an emergency, how they use it to interact with each other and others, including emergency services, and what impact this has on them (Task 2.3).

Target audience

The direct target audience for this Deliverable is the EmerGent project partners. Additional target audiences are emergency services, researchers in general and those with an interest in these particular case studies (floods) and in social media use in emergencies in general, as well as the European Commission and other FP7 projects.