Development of a Virtual Community of Practice on Natural Disasters

Raquel Gimenez, Leire Labaka, Jose Mari Sarriegi, Josune Hernantes


This research identifies from literature principles of successful Virtual Communities of Practice (VCoPs) and explains how they have been fulfilled in the development of a VCoP that aims at contributing to knowledge sharing on natural disasters. The developed VCoP involves 70 experts in dealing with natural disasters from different hierarchical levels, organizations and nationalities of Europe. The VCoP has been developed within a European project from the 7th framework program. During the project three workshops were arranged for the members of the VCoP to know each other and to develop a living document. The living document is a web based tool used by the VCoP to share documents and insights, and it helps VCoP members networking. This paper provides direction for developing a VCoP to exchange lessons learned reports among crisis managers and first responders, and it identifies barriers that hinder the use of the living document.

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