Topic Cloud

IDRC 2012 Workshop

Ubiquitous Technology to Facilitate Preparedness, Practice, and Situational Awareness Before, During, and After Disasters

Helen T. Sullivan, PhD – Rider University (USA) / University of Jyväskylä (Finland)
Markku T. Häkkinen, PhD – University of Jyväskylä (Finland/USA)


During 2012, the number of mobile phone connections worldwide is expected to reach 6 billion and it will not be long before there is the equivalent of one mobile phone connection for each of our planet’s inhabitants. The majority of people worldwide will either have direct access to a mobile device, or be within the family or social network of someone who does. As explored in our past workshops at IDRC, mobile technologies offer significant possibilities for preparedness, alerting, and response. And in the past two years, we have seen continuing advances in technology, as well as our understanding of how people adopt and use mobile devices. The growing ubiquity of this technology comes with the challenge of using it effectively to support an integrated and adaptive approach to preparedness, training, risk communication, and situational awareness for both individuals and emergency responders. Mobile devices can and will play a significant and effective role in improving personal preparedness and safety, yet there remain technical challenges and research gaps, as discussed in our 2010 workshop, as well as promising new trends and developments. This is a multi-­‐stakeholder challenge, ranging from those involved in research, mobile device vendors, service providers, governmental authorities and individual communities of mobile phone users.

This workshop will look at the use of mobile technology, from multiple perspectives, but focused most on human behavior and how to influence adoption and effective use of these technologies.

Workshop Held 29 August 2012 in Davos, Switzerland.

Live meeting notes from the workshop and discussion are being collated.  If you were a participant and wish to provide additional comments, please contact

A special thanks for all who participated.  We will be posting further information here and developing a journal article based on the workshop comments.