Project #12112 - Social Media and Crisis Management

The benefits of harnessing social media platforms1 to augment crisis management capabilities are obvious: from building a community’s resilience to a crisis with early detection, to empowering crisis managers with the capability to search and gather up-to-date information so as to develop a more efficient response. It also helps in coordinating recovery efforts so as to restore normalcy sooner. But with a critical awareness of the reach of social media, there are also more calls for better regulation to prevent and control its negative effects.

It has also been argued that social media plays an increasing role in constructing crises, either through amplified and magnified voices (e.g. by protest actors, NGOs) or social perceptions (e.g. financial crisis, low population growth). In some cases, events and experiences are framed as crisis by certain actors, and in other instances, social perception shapes what constitutes a crisis.

 

Examples of social media platforms commonly used for crisis management: Ushahidi, Crisis Mappers, Sahana, and Open Streetmap.

Question:

In view of these developments, you have been tasked to study the relationship between social media and crisis. Your research agenda must cover the following objectives:

(a) Analyze two detailed case studies of a crisis (one in Singapore, and one in another country of your choice). Explain how social media, positively and negatively, impacted the management of the crisis in one case study, and how it positively or negatively created a crisis in the other case study.

(30 marks)

(b) Drawing on your analysis of the two detailed case studies above, develop a brief research (qualitative or quantitative) proposal on either (1) how social media is effective as a tool for crisis management, or (2) how social media has played a role in creating a crisis. Your proposal must include the following: (i) state your research hypothesis or research question clearly; (ii) explain why it is of interest; (iii) identify the key variables; (iv) explain how these variables will be measured; as well as (v) explain your research methods.

(30 marks)

 

 Apply your research agenda developed into (b) a recent crisis [this crisis must be different from the two detailed crises discussed in (a)]. In the process, highlight five plausible observations you are likely to make based on your proposed field research on this recent crisis.

(25 marks)

(d) Analyze your key research findings. You must clearly explain your key findings and relate them to the main concern regarding the relationship between social media and crisis.

(15 marks)

Note: These objectives (a-d) should not be treated as sub-questions but sub-sections of a coherent paper.

Subject Science
Due By (Pacific Time) 09/11/2013 12:00 am
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