Open Access Article

Title: ICT enabled cross-sector collaboration in emergency response: emerging forms of public-sector network governance

Authors: S. Pilemalm; K. Yousefi Mojir

Addresses: Department of Management of Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, 581 83, Sweden ' Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT, University of Borås, 501, 90, Borås, Sweden

Abstract: Information and communication technology (ICT) has enabled the pooling of emergency response resources. Here, we explore and compare three cases of cross-sector collaboration: co-location, co-use of resources and semi-professionals as first responders. Identified opportunities include shared facilities and equipment, and a positive attitude towards the new collaboration. Challenges include undefined roles, responsibilities, difficulties in prioritising among ordinary and new tasks in resource-strained organisations; and lack of legislation, and agreements. Reported needs related to improved training and joint exercises, to trauma support and basic supplies, e.g., blankets, reflective vests, and warning triangles. ICT suggestions included, e.g., systems for errand handling, joint assessment of information, status and acknowledgement of available and dispatched resources, and smartphone-based dispatch management. The emerging collaborations can be seen as hybrid forms of government and network governance. Network governance may thus support the development of their institutional aspects, but needs to be complemented with practical elements relating to the emergency response context.

Keywords: emergency response; ICT; information and communication technology; cross-sector collaboration; network governance; public sector; co-use; co-location; semi-professionals.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2020.113936

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2020 Vol.16 No.3, pp.249 - 280

Accepted: 21 May 2020
Published online: 31 Mar 2021 *