The International Red Cross has declared that one of the greatest challenges in crisis and disaster management lies in increasing the resilience of the population and volunteers.
Austria has a very strong voluntary sector which plays a vital role in crisis and disaster management. A particular challenge lies in the changing pattern of volunteers which is the result of advancing social change. Long-term, formal membership is difficult to combine with dynamic lifestyles, especially in urban areas. For this reason, it is very important for voluntary organisations such as the Red Cross to complement existing membership forms by offering opportunities for new and looser relationships with aid organisations in order to ensure that these organisations can continue to play an outstanding role in Austrian crisis and disaster management.
In order to meet these challenges, the primary focus of RE-ACTA lies in using new media to ensure that assistance offered by volunteers of the Team Österreich initiative can be optimally applied on behalf of the Red Cross. This not only increases the resilience of the civil population, but also helps to reduce the burden on the emergency services. It is achieved by developing processes for a crowd-tasking application based on a concept development & experimentation approach. In developing the processes attention is paid both to the needs of the emergency services and users, as well as the liability and data protection aspects of using such a crowd-tasking tool. It is also extremely important to explore the acceptance of such a solution, both among the civil population and by volunteers. The project also involves applying qualitative, user-centred validations to optimise the crowd-tasking processes, and analysing the added value offered by the system compared to standard solutions. Finally, the entire process will be tested using a neighbourhood assistance demonstrator, consisting of a crowd-tasking management system, a mobile application, and an evaluation and reporting tool.
- Project duration: November 2013 - June 2015
- Funding programme: KIRAS (funded by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology)
- Coordination: AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
- Partners: INSET Research & Advisory Unternehmensberatung GmbH, Frequentis AG, TU Wien, Austrian Red Cross