Towards More Relevant Research on Humanitarian Disaster Management Coordination

Laura Laguna Salvadó, Matthieu Lauras, Tina Comes, Bartel Van de Walle


Humanitarian crisis require a responsive and agile response. The number of professional and volunteer organization involved in the response to humanitarian disasters has increased over the past year, making coordination more important than ever before. This paper discusses the main issues of Humanitarian Disaster Management (HDM) coordination and the different modes applied on the field. We argue that while these challenges have been addressed by scientific literature with dedicated solutions, there is still a considerable gap between humanitarian best practice and academic state of the art.

This paper proposes a field-oriented methodology to bridge this gap. We analyze the findings from field research on the Typhoon Haiyan response (Philippines, 2013) and deduce practitioners’ requirements for HDM coordination support systems. Then we suggest a research agenda from a gap analysis comparing requirements with the existing solutions and the scientific approaches.

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