Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Facilitators and barriers to effective information sharing during international disaster response

Sara Waring, PhD, PGCert L&T, MSc, BSc (Hons), Michael Humann, PhD, PGCert L&T, MSc, BSc (Hons), Natasha Dawson, MSc, BSc (Hons)

Abstract


Effective information sharing is essential for the successful management of disasters. But as 30 years’ worth of UK public inquiries repeatedly highlight, differences in terminology and goals across agencies can make this difficult to achieve. The growing scale and intensity of disasters raises additional challenges, with emergency responders being required to work across regions and even countries. The following study focuses on identifying facilitators and barriers to information sharing in dynamic contexts, where interdisciplinary teams from across geographic regions form ad hoc to rapidly address challenges. This case study draws on 257 naturalistic observations made by subject-matter experts during the largest disaster management exercise to take place in Europe to date. The 4-day exercise, funded by the European Commission, involved over 5,000 emergency responders from the UK, Cyprus, Hungary, and Italy, providing a unique opportunity to examine information sharing practices across international boundaries. Results of a mixed-method analysis highlight that barriers within and between countries are particularly prevalent during periods of greater uncertainty. These barriers include language and technological difficulties, differences in roles and responsibilities, and failure to co-locate and coordinate activities. Developing shared frames of reference, including adopting common structures for presenting information and understanding roles and responsibilities, facilitates information sharing, potentially reducing cognitive load. Implications for developing evidence-based approaches to disaster response are discussed.


Keywords


disaster response, information sharing, multiteam, communication, naturalistic observation

Full Text:

PDF

References


Cabinet Office: Civil Contingencies Act 2004: A Short Guide (Revised). London, UK: HM Government, 2004.

Lindell MK, Prater C, Perry RW: Wiley Pathways Introduction to Emergency Management. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2007.

LePine JA, Piccolo RF, Jackson CL, et al.: A meta-analysis of teamwork processes: Tests of a multidimensional model and relationships with team effectiveness criteria. Pers Psychol. 2008; 61: 273-307.

MacFarlane R, Leigh M: Information management and shared situational awareness: Ideas, tools and good practice in multiagency crisis and emergency management. 2014. Available at http://www.epcresilience.com/EPC/media/Images/Knowledge%20Centre/Occasionals/Occ12-Paper.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2018.

Pollock K: Review of persistent lessons identified relating to interoperability from emergencies and major incidents since 1986. 2013. Available at http://www.epcollege.com/EPC/media/MediaLibrary/Knowledge%20Hub%20Documents/J%20Thinkpieces/Occ6-Paper-v2.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2018.

Waring S, Alison L, McGuire G, et al.: Information sharing in inter-team responses to disaster. J Occup Organ Psychol. 2018; 91(3): 591-619.

Kerslake RW: The Kerslake Report: An independent review into the preparedness for, and emergency response to, the Manchester Arena attack on 22nd May 2017. 2018. Available at https://www.kerslakearenareview.co.uk/media/1022/kerslake_arena_review_printed_final.pdf. Accessed March 7, 2019.

Noran O, Bernus P: Effective disaster management: An interoperability perspective. In: Proceedings of the 2011th Confederated International Conference on the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems. Crete, Greece: Springer-Verlag, 2011: 112-121.

Ahman T, Nilsson C, Olsson S: The Community Mechanism for Civil Protection and the European Union Solidarity Fund. Crisis Management in the European Union. Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany: Springer, 2009: 83-107.

European Commission: Humanitarian aid and civil protection: EU civil protection. 2016. Available at http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/aid/countries/factsheets/thematic/civil_protection_en.pdf. Accessed May 20, 2018.

Association of Chief Police Officers: Guidance on emergency procedures. 2009. Available at http://library.college.police.uk/docs/acpo/Multi-agency-Interoperability-130609.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2018.

Hollenbeck JR, Beersma B, Schouten ME: Beyond team types and taxonomies: A dimensional scaling conceptualization for team description. Acad Manag Rev. 2012; 37(1): 82-106.

Pollock K, Coles E: Interoperability: Theory and practice in UK emergency management. 2015. Available at http://www.epcollege.com/EPC/media/MediaLibrary/Knowledge%20Hub%20Documents/J%20Thinkpieces/Occ13-Paper.pdf. Accessed June 9, 2018.

Gheytanchi A, Joseph L, Gierlach E, et al.: The dirty dozen: Twelve failures of the Hurricane Katrina response and how psychology can help. Am Psychol. 2007; 62(2): 118-130.

Alison L, Power N, van den Heuvel C, et al.: Decision inertia: Deciding between least-worst outcomes in emergency responses to disasters. J Occup Organ Psychol. 2015; 88(2): 295-321.

Kapucu N: Interagency communication networks during emergencies boundary spanners in multiagency coordination. Am Rev Public Adm. 2006; 36(2): 207-225.

Davidson RB, Hollenbeck JR, Barnes CM, et al.: Coordinated action in multiteam systems. J Appl Psychol. 2012; 97: 808-824.

DeChurch LA, Mesmer-Magnus JR: The cognitive underpinnings of effective teamwork: A metaanalysis. J ApplPsychol. 2010; 95(1): 32-53.

Mathieu JE, Marks MA, Zaccaro SJ: Multiteam systems. In Anderson N, Ones DS, Sinangil HK, et al. (eds.): Handbook of Industrial, Work and Organizational Psychology, Vol. 2: Organizational Psychology. London, UK: Sage Publications, 2001: 289-313.

London Emergency Services Liaison Panel: Major Incident Procedure Manual. 2015. Available at https://www.met.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/met/about-us/major-incident-procedure-manual-9th-ed.pdf. Accessed June 9, 2018.

Bechky BA: Sharing meaning across occupational communities: The transformation of understanding on a production floor. Organ Sci. 2003; 14: 312-330.

Boland RJ, Tenkasi RV: Perspective making and perspective taking in communities of knowing. Organ Sci. 1995; 6: 350-372.

Mendonça D, Jefferson T, Harrald J: Emergent interoperability: Collaborative adhocracies and mix and match technologies in emergency management. Commun ACM. 2007; 50(3): 44-49.

Jarvenpaa SL, Keating E: Hallowed grounds: The role of cultural values, practices, and institutions in TMS in an offshored complex engineering services project. IEEE Trans Eng Manag. 2011; 58: 786-798.

Drouglazet L, Rajamäki J, Tyni J, et al.: Multi-agency cooperation in cross-border operations (MACICO) project. In Choras RS (ed.): Recent Advances in Circuits, Systems, Signal Processing and Communications: Proceedings of the 8th WSEAS International Conference on Circuits, Systems, Signal and Telecommunications (CSST’14). Tenerife, Spain: WSEAS Press, 2014: 129-136.

Johnson E: Talking across frontiers: Building communications systems between Europe’s emergency services. Reg Fed Stud. 2002; 12(4): 88-110.

Sweller J: Cognitive load during problem solving: Effects on learning. Cogn Sci. 1988; 12(2): 257-285.

de Bruijn H: One fight, one team: The 9/11 commission report on intelligence, fragmentation and information. Public Adm. 2006; 84(2): 267-287.

Wildavsky A: Searching for Safety. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1988.

Nisbett RE, Zukier H, Lemley RE: The dilution effect: Nondiagnostic information weakens the implications of diagnostic information. Cogn Psychol. 1981; 13(2): 248-277.

Jonker CM, Van Riemsdijk MB, Vermeulen B: Shared mental models: A conceptual analysis. In Vos MD, Fornara N, Pitt JV, Vouros G (eds.): Lecture Notes for Computer Science: Coordination, Organizations, Institutions, and Norms in Agent Systems VI. Berlin/ Heidelberg, Germany: Springer, 2011: 132-151.

Wegner DM, Guiliano T, Hertel P: Cognitive interdependence in close relationships. In Ickes WJ (ed.): Compatible and Incompatible Relationships. New York: Springer, 1985: 253-276.

Healey MP, Hodgkinson GP, Teo S: Responding effectively to civil emergencies: The role of transactive memory in the performance of multi team systems. In Wong WBL, Stanton NA (eds.): Proceedings of the 9th Bi-Annual International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making: NDM9: Naturalistic Decision Making and Computers. Swindon, UK: British Computer Society, 2009: 53-59.

Miller CC: Decisional comprehensiveness and firm performance: Towards a more complete understanding. J Behav Decis Mak. 2008; 21(5): 598-620.

Bharosa N, Lee J, Janssen M: Challenges and obstacles in sharing and coordinating information during multi-agency disaster response: Propositions from field exercises. Inf Syst Front. 2010; 12(1): 49-65.

Nowell B, Steelman T: Communication under fire: The role of embeddedness in the emergence and efficacy of disaster response communication networks. J Public Adm Res Theory. 2015; 25(3): 929-952.

Luvison D, Marks MA: Team coordination in strategic alliances: Identifying conditions that reduce team willingness to cooperate. Int J Strateg Bus Alliances. 2012; 3(1): 1-22. doi:10.1504/IJSBA.2013.058290.

Goodwin GF, Essens PJMD, Smith D: Multiteam systems in the public sector. In Zaccaro SJ, Marks MA, DeChurch L (eds.): Multiteam Systems: An Organization Form for Dynamic and Complex Environments. New York, NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2012: 53-80.

Lindell MK, Prater CS, Perry RW: Fundamentals of Emergency Management. Emmitsburg, MD: Federal Emergency Management Agency Emergency Management Institute, 2006. Available at http://training.fema.gov/hiedu/aemrc/booksdownload/fem/. Accessed May 20, 2018.

Bashir M, Afzal MT, Azeem M: Reliability and validity of qualitative and operational research paradigm. Pak J Stat Oper Res. 2008; 4(1): 35-45.

Roth EM: Analyzing decision making in process control: Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding and aiding human performance in complex tasks. In Zsambok CE, Klein G (eds.): Naturalistic Decision Making. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997: 121-130.

Crandall B, Klein G, Hoffman RR: Working Minds: A Practitioner’s Guide to Cognitive Task Analysis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006.

Cabinet Office: Emergency Response and Recovery. London, UK: HM Government, 2013.

Creswell JW: Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2009.

Braun V, Clarke V: Successful Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide for Beginners. London, UK: Sage Publications, 2013.

Simons L, Lathlean J, Squire C: Shifting the focus: Sequential methods of analysis with qualitative data. Qual Health Res. 2008; 18: 120-132.

Patton MQ: Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods. 2nd ed. London, UK: Sage, 1990.

Braun V, Clarke V: Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qual Res Psychol. 2006; 3(2): 77-101.

Vaismoradi M, Turunen H, Bondas T: Content analysis and thematic analysis: Implications for conducting a qualitative descriptive study. Nurs Health Sci. 2013; 15(3): 398-405.

McLeod J: Qualitative Research in Counselling and Psychotherapy. London, UK: Sage Publishing, 2001.

Landis JR, Koch GG: The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics. 1977; 33(1): 159-174.

Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme. Joint Doctrine: The Interoperability Framework. 2016. Available at https://www.jesip.org.uk/uploads/media/pdf/JESIP_Joint_Doctrine-The_Interoperability_Framework_%5Bedition_2-July-2016%5D.pdf. Accessed January 30, 2019.

Rozin P, Royzman EB: Negativity bias, negativity dominance, and contagion. Pers Soc Psychol Rev. 2001; 5(4): 296-320.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jem.2019.0440

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2019 Journal of Emergency Management