Research Projects

ICT-Enabled Community Based Disaster Response


Emmanuel Lallana
University of Massachusetts Amherst


Sherwin Ona
De La Salle University
Cheryll Ruth Soriano
De La Salle University
Clarissa David
University of the Philippines
Lenore Polotan de la Cruz
University of the Philippines

This project has two objectives: 1) to design an ICT-transformed disaster governance framework; and, 2) to architect a DRM model that is founded on an ICT-enabled, gendered CBDRM.

The specific activities in the first objective are:

  • Review and evaluate existing disaster governance arrangements/structures at the national, regional and local levels;
  • Develop an ICT-transformed Disaster Governance framework

The specific activities associated with the second objective are:

  • Examine the information needs of communities for DRM;
  • Study how communities use ICT, particularly in emergencies;
  • Review existing ICT applications developed or could be used/adapted for DRM;
  • Curate a suite of ICT applications/systems that would enhance a gender fair CBDM;

This project will also address three key challenges linked with CBDRM and Disaster Governance:

  • The need to link with the top-down government/national DRM approach;
  • A strategy for a national role-out/replication that includes identifying capacity as well as resources that need to be available; and
  • Policy recommendations to institutionalize Disaster Governance.

While the project focuses on ICT, it will not propose another techno-utopia vision.  Following Melissa Gilbert’s “Theorizing on digital and urban inequalities”, the project believes that the ability of a community to use ICT for DRM rests not only on access to technology but also “in the context of broader societal inequalities and how they are constituted by processes operating at multiple scales, from global to the scale of lived experience.”[1]   Gilbert identifies the following levels that affect the empowered use of ICT:

  • Global – Globalization
  • National – Economic Restructuring, Occupational Segregation, State Restructuring
  • Sub-National/Regional – Labor Markets, Housing Markets, Public Services, Non-Profit Organizations
  • Community, Neighborhood – Technological Capital, Social Capital
  • Individual – Technological Capacity, Social Networks

The project will address these constraining and enable levels in designing the DG framework and CBDRM-based DRM.

The Project team members and their responsibilities are identified below.

  • Emmanuel Lallana will lead this Project. He will also take the lead in designing the ICT-transformed DG framework.
  • Sherwin Ona will review existing ICT apps and systems for DRM with the view of architecting an ICT-enabled, engendered CBDRM. He will also contribute to identifying community information for CBDRM.
  • Cherryl Ruth Soriano will lead in studying community information needs in DG and DRM. She will also study how communities currently use ICT.
  • Clarissa David, will contribute a paper how communities use FB in Disasters
  • Lenore Polotan de la Cruz will contribute a paper on the best practice in community organizing and in existing CBDRM initiatives in the Philippines.

While this project can be characterized as policy development, it is also a contribution to the critical theory of technology that aims to “analyse and assess the choices that have, and have not, been made in actual practice, and contribute to social experiments that aim at more democratic and more desirable alternatives”.

Access this website for more information about the project: <a href=””></a>

[1]    Melissa Gilbert “Theorizing Digital And Urban Inequalities”  Information, Communication & Society, 13:7 (2010), p 1006, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2010.499954


Reimagining Disaster Governance and DRRM in the Philippines: Legazpi Seminar-Workshop


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The Network
The Newton Tech4Dev Network research team is led by Dr. Jonathan Corpus Ong, Prof. Peter Lunt, and Prof. Julio C. Teehankee.