Can social media and crowdsourcing create societies that are more resilient to disasters? The LINKS H2020 project has the answers – Worldwide

May 31, 2020 PRESS RELEASE

June 2021 will mark the first year of work within LINKS, a project funded under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

Social media platforms and crowdsourcing strategies (SMCS) are increasingly integrated into crisis management for cooperation and collaboration between European communities in all phases of crisis. The LINKS project, funded by Europe, wants to know more about the impact of these processes on societal resilience. As project coordinator Nathan Clark from Vrije University in Amsterdam says: “Social media and crowdsourcing offer many opportunities to engage and make their voices heard in a community that can support the efforts of disaster risk management and ultimately creating more resilient societies. But at the same time, there are still risks, challenges and unknowns associated with these technologies and processes that can just as easily compromise resilience.

Over the past year, LINKS has taken on the challenge of deepening these opportunities and the challenges of social media and participatory resources in disaster situations. Despite the COVID19 pandemic, the consortium has collaborated virtually in 6 European countries and 15 organizations to lay the conceptual and methodological foundations for future field research as part of the project. This includes a study on three core knowledge areas focusing on the social (disaster risk perception and vulnerability), institutional (disaster management process) and technical (community disaster technologies) dimensions of SMCS in disaster event, led by partners from the University of Florence, the University of Copenhagen and the Safety Innovation Center. The results of these studies are available free of charge as reports on the project website and will be applied to the fieldwork that will take place from November.

In collaboration with local partners, LINKS will conduct studies on five diverse case scenarios across Europe including: floods in Denmark, droughts and terrorism in Germany, earthquakes in Italy and industrial hazards in the countries -Bas, in order to better understand the role of SMCS for local communities. in the event of a disaster. As such, LINKS will contribute to the wider debate on risk and vulnerability and also provide building blocks for disaster resilient communities and societies.

The results of the case studies will feed into the development of the LINKS framework which will ultimately provide a set of learning materials (e.g. methods, guidelines, best practices for training, lessons learned on how to best use SMCS in the event of a disaster) for a wide variety of stakeholders, including practitioners, policy makers and local communities. The LINKS framework will be accessible to everyone through the LINKS Community Center (LCC). The LCC is currently designed as a flexible web-based platform for stakeholders to exchange knowledge and experiences, and to access knowledge on the use of SMCS in disaster situations.

The project also wishes to engage with the wider crisis management community through the LCC and other project activities. Those interested in participating in the “LINKS Community” can register to do so via an online questionnaire. In addition, the main results obtained during the first year of the project will be presented to interested stakeholders during the “First LINKS Conference” which will take place on July 2, 2021. The event is open to everyone.

For more information on LINKS, see the project website at The main results of the project can also be downloaded here:

For more information:
Principal investigator
Kees Boersma, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – [email protected]
LINKS project coordinator
Nathan Clark, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – [email protected]
LINKS project communication coordinator
Antonio Opromolla, University Link Campus [email protected] / [email protected]
LINKS site:
LINKS Facebook page:
Twitter LINKS page:
LINKS LinkedIn page:

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