gPnd2SL0nyuP7Wm66v_AMTu8QjIqL2E8VpuYDzu9fM-R2bFlh1aE22wBNbT995m7PNMYv-qjW-0O_8kuN23vaw

Simulated Decision Making for ICT Coordination in Disaster Relief Using Cognitive Agents




41 views

Unformatted text preview:

Abstract NGO coordination bodies face a variety of challenges in decision making and information sharing. To address these challenges, we propose a multidisciplinary research effort that seeks to improve ICT coordination of NGO’s using a cognitive agent architecture to simulate organizational structure of coordination bodies to find optimal organizational design that can improve ICT coordination for disaster relief, especially for development countries. 1 Introduction In the past two years the world has experienced several major natural disasters, including the south Asian tsunami, hurricane Katrina and the Pakistani earthquake. These tragedies have highlighted the need for improved decision making and greater levels of coordination in humanitarian relief, particularly in the area of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Also, an efficient deployment of ICTs during the relief process can pave the way for subsequent economic and social development as many relief agencies are also involved in international development. This is particularly true in developing countries, where disaster response may make available resources, such as ICTs, that were previously unobtainable [Maitland et al 2006]. While there is a consensus that this issue needs to be addressed and efforts to improve relief services are currently under way, it is unclear how this goal can best be accomplished. One approach taken by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has been to organize ‘coordination bodies,’ whose goals are to improve the efficiency of ICT use in disaster relief through greater coordination. These ICT coordination bodies may be temporary, special initiatives, undertaken independently with donor funds or through the auspices of larger, general inter-agency bodies such as InterAction, or they may be permanent incorporated non-profit organizations that undertake ICT coordination as their exclusive mission, such as HumaniNet. The goal of improving coordination in any area of disaster relief is challenging. Organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, operate in conditions of extreme uncertainty. The uncertainty has many sources, including the sporadic nature of disasters, the lack of warning associated with disasters, and the wide array of actors who may or may not respond to any one disaster. This uncertainty increases the need for information, but at the same time research has shown that the amount of operational information flowing through an organization during a disaster can be overwhelming [Knuth, 1999]. In these circumstances appropriate ICTs could make substantial improvements in the disaster relief process. In addition to the impediments arising from the disaster relief context, NGO coordination bodies face a variety of challenges in decision making and information sharing that are unique to their particular context. First, many of the NGOs involved in disaster relief compete for donor funds. In this competition information is seen as a strategic asset. For example, an assessment of the disaster site (information) may identify a demand for goods that cannot be met by current funds, thus prompting a request to donors. The accuracy of the assessment information is therefore critical. Since ICT-related coordination and decision making inherently involves the sharing of such information with competitors, this creates a challenge. Second, the coordination bodies must also overcome ...





Loading Unlocking...

Login

Join to view Simulated Decision Making for ICT Coordination in Disaster Relief Using Cognitive Agents and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or
We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?

Sign Up

Join to view Simulated Decision Making for ICT Coordination in Disaster Relief Using Cognitive Agents and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or

By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?