Interoperability for Extreme Events Research Group (IEERG)

Our focus is on collaborating with communities and agencies to achieve effective social, organisational and technical interoperability in extreme events. We acknowledge that changes to technology such as, social media, mobile systems, agile development approaches and cloud computing have the potential to increase and enhance the process of interoperability before disaster strikes. For emergency management, interoperability can be defined as “the extent to which organisations can work with each other coherently as a matter or routine” - Joint Emergency Services Interoperability.

Effective disaster and emergency management hinges on the ability of government, agencies, communities, and individuals to work together to achieve the best outcomes during times of crisis. 

This calls for research initiatives that seek to minimize the serious risks and threats that can confront volunteers, communities and professionals and impact their lives and livelihoods.

Our local and international members and associates are drawn from a range of research centres and universities (within and external to the University of Sydney) as well as organisations within the emergency services sector, including government response and support agencies, services utilities, NGOs, volunteers and community groups.  

Recent research projects

Social Media Use in Extreme Events: Evaluating the Trustworthiness of the Source of User-Generated Content (2017 - 2018)

Investigator/s: Deborah Bunker; Christian Ehnis; Abdul Babar

This project investigates how to measure trustworthiness and credibility of an information source, rather than the information itself and then develop a software prototype to automate this process. Read more »

Social Media and Crisis Response: An Analytical Framework and Tool to aid Emergency Service Agencies (2014 - 2015)

Investigator/s: Deborah Bunker; Kai Riemer; Christian Ehnis

This project is concerned with public safety, looking closely at how social media communication patterns can be analyzed to support Emergency Service Agencies (ESA) during a crisis response. Read more »

More research projects »

Past events

  • Crisis Communications and Social Media Symposium

    Keynote - ‘The Brave New World of Social Media’
    Kai Riemer, Professor of Information Technology and Organisation, The University of Sydney Business School

    29 April 2016

    Crises communications in social media are complex for several reasons: crisis type i.e. bushfire, flood, storm, pandemic etc; impact on different stakeholders i.e. individuals, communities, enterprises, government organizations, NGOs etc; rumours and misleading information might be propagated through social and technical networks; or cultural factors may need to be considered i.e. how people communicate, with whom they communicate and by what means etc. While many organisations (academic, public and private) are working on solutions to these requirements, comprehensive methods and approaches that address the complexity of crisis communications and social media, are yet to be explored, tried and tested.

    The Symposium aimed to better understand the current status of social media use for crisis communication and also how this environment can be effectively understood, in order to address future needs. Speakers from government, industry and academia explored ideas and a way forward, for a future research agenda.

  • Building a Dynamic Picture of Disaster Recovery

    Presentation and Discussion Session

    27 August 2015

More past events »