Title: Humanitarian information exchange network: why do international humanitarian organisations collaborate?

Authors: Louis-Marie Tchouakeu Ngamassi; Kang Zhao; Edgar Maldonado; Carleen Maitland; Andrea H. Tapia

Addresses: College of Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, 332 Information Sciences and Technology Building, University Park, PA 16802-6823, USA. ' College of Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, 332 Information Sciences and Technology Building, University Park, PA 16802-6823, USA. ' College of Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, 332 Information Sciences and Technology Building, University Park, PA 16802-6823, USA. ' College of Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, 332 Information Sciences and Technology Building, University Park, PA 16802-6823, USA. ' College of Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, 332 Information Sciences and Technology Building, University Park, PA 16802-6823, USA

Abstract: While in recent years research has highlighted the rise of inter-organisational collaboration among organisations in the non-profit sector and has documented issues related to forming and maintaining of these relationships, there is little known about inter-organisational humanitarian information exchange and especially the motives of collaboration. In this paper, we examine collaboration relationships among organisations member of a community of interest in humanitarian information exchange. We use the social network block-model method to analyse collaboration network data collected from 35 international organisations. Six strongly connected clusters are identified in the community. Evaluating reported reasons for these collaborations, we find that the two main motivations are related to relational characteristics of organisations, which interestingly are the most and least reported reasons in two of the most densely connected clusters of relationships. These findings are discussed through the lenses of resource dependency and network structural equivalence.

Keywords: inter-organisational networks; humanitarian organisations; social networks; collaboration relationships; network clusters; humanitarian information; information exchange; international organisations; non-profit sector; motives; organisation members; communities of interest; network data; motivation; relational characteristics; resource dependency; network equivalence; structural equivalence; NGOs; non-governmental organisations; UN; United Nations; society; systems science; health.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSS.2011.043213

International Journal of Society Systems Science, 2011 Vol.3 No.4, pp.362 - 384

Available online: 20 Oct 2011 *

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