Lunchtime Seminar - Crowdsourcing the Assessment of Humanitarian Logistics Infrastructure and Resources
Humanitarian aid organizations respond to disasters by delivering relief items in highly complex and dynamic environments. To plan and execute logistics operations therein, it is crucial to build and maintain situation awareness. That is, to perceive the relevant elements of the environment, to comprehend their meaning and to project their status in the near future. Traditional data sources, such as direct observation by assessment teams, are limited in terms of speed and coverage. Crowdsourcing has emerged as a promising paradigm, process and technology in crisis management to complement traditional data sources and improve situation awareness. Until now, however, humanitarian decision-making, situation assessment and crowdsourcing initiatives have been largely disconnected. Before crowdsourcing can be effectively utilized to support humanitarian logistics decision-making, it is necessary (1) to be clear and what kinds of logistics-related data have to be collected, (2) to embed the crowdsourcing process in professional assessment practices, and (3) to provide adequate information systems support. The speaker will present research results for each of these challenges, including a category system for logistics-related infrastructure and resources, a crowdsourcing model and method, and the instantiating prototype GDACSmobile.
Daniel Link holds a Master’s degree in logistics and supply chain management from the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany. He works as a research assistant at the European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS) headquarters at the University of Münster, Germany. There he is also a doctoral candidate at Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Hellingrath’s Chair for Information Systems and Supply Chain Management. Daniel’s doctoral research focuses on the use of crowdsourcing to support the situation assessment of disaster situations and subsequent logistics decision-making at humanitarian aid organizations.