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CrowdTasker enables crisis managers to instruct large numbers of non-institutional (either spontaneous or pre-registered) volunteers with customizable tasks, contextual information, warnings and alerts, as well as to crowdsource information from them.

The received feedback is evaluated and visualized and provides managers with a detailed overview of the situation, which is used in turn to trigger adequate relief services.

When working with the volunteers that are already at a disaster site CrowdTasker allows the crisis managers to:

  • Dramatically reduce the time and effort needed to exchange information with these volunteers;
  • Differentiate between the volunteers based on their profiles (e.g. skills, health) and positions
  • Address the people that potentially possess local knowledge;
  • Alleviate the workload for and organizations;

 

CT-01 Address spontaneous volunteers

CrowdTasker supports managers and incident commanders by offering a lightweight mode of registration and low barrier to entry for spontaneous volunteers that are not officially affiliated with the .

Registration of volunteers is implemented as self-service sign-up via the smartphone application. Volunteers can create an account easily, by providing an email address and password. Later, they can provide information about their skills via a profile page. This information may also be vetted and validated by volunteer managers to provide an indication of trust in the volunteer’s profile.

Alternatively, volunteers can use the social media interface of CrowdTasker (provided via chatbots) as initial means of signing up with an even lower barrier to entry. By starting a conversation with the CrowdTasker chatbot, they can sign up to receive information and tasks and provide profile information, similar as in the smartphone application, but in an environment that they already use and are familiar with.

Related CM functions

CT-02 Interact with existing informal volunteers groups

Spontaneous volunteers often use social media as infrastructure for self- and managing their participation as a group. Social media networks have an especially low barrier to entry, as many people are already familiar with their use and mode of operation. Therefore, social media represents an attractive channel for guiding efforts of spontaneous volunteers.

CrowdTaskers community module offers volunteer managers an interface with self-organised groups that is easily established by adding the CrowdTasker chatbot to the group. Subsequently, the group can receive information about the ongoing efforts. They can also share perceived needs of their own through the chatbot, enabling information exchange and coordination with organisations and other groups. CrowdTaskers community module visualizes this data exchange for volunteer managers and allows for easy ways to comment or offer support. This allows volunteer managers to interact with groups that would otherwise not participate in information exchange via dedicated volunteer platforms.

Due to the nature of information exchange (i.e., with groups, rather than individual, registered volunteers), this functionality is intended to share perceived issues on a more abstract level than in the core crowd tasking workflow. For example, on group may observe (or even form in to) a blocked road and attempt to clear it; because they need help, they submit this info via the chatbot in their existing Telegram group as “Clear Road X” – something that a volunteer manager or other groups can react to (in the form of comments or by pledging support). This type of interaction requires more self-determined action on the end of the recipient than the tasks distributed via the CrowdTasker smartphone application.

Related CM functions

CT-03 Distribute warnings and alerts to registered users (alerting)

CrowdTasker can provide real-time warnings, information and guidelines to the public. Recipients can be selected based on their location to warn them of hazards in certain areas or provide guidance once they enter a pre-defined area. Warnings and alerts can also be restricted to users with specific skills.

For example, pre-registered volunteers can be informed of an approaching storm or flood and given explanations on how to prepare and how to react when a  occurs. 
 

 

Related CM functions

CT-04 Task and request specific reports

Volunteers using CrowdTasker can be instructed to report the situation on the field, e.g. for initial damage in a particular area. To achieve this, the incident commander can create tasks that consist of multiple steps (similar to survey forms) to ask specific questions about an incident. Each step consists of a step description, and possible answers (multiple or single choice, numeric, image, ...).

Reporting can be restricted to a certain area and to users with specific skills.

All task reports are located and displayed on an interactive map for the incident commander to provide help task planning and prioritisation.

Related CM functions

CT-05 Crowdsource field reports (observations) from solution users

The incident commander can allow the volunteers that use CrowdTasker to send reports on newly observed incidents in the field. This differs from the "Request specific Reports". The incident commander will get new information about unknown incidents. The report is triggered by the on its own in contrary to the "Request specific Reports" Use case where the incident commander already knows about an incident and wants to ask the volunteers specific questions about a situation.

Reporting can be restricted to a certain area and to users with specific skills.

All reports are located and displayed on an interactive map for the incident commander, helping to improve task planning and prioritisation.

Related CM functions

CT-06 Conduct just in time micro-training

CrowdTasker allows the responsible organisations to micro-train the users "just in time" and on a " to know basis", while taking into account their geographic position and profile.

For example, the pre-registered volunteers can be informed of an approaching storm or flood and given explanations on how to prepare and how to react if and when the occurs. Volunteers with special skills can be given different information from those that do not have such skills and a form can be used to control if the volunteers have understood the information.

Related CM functions

Illustrations
CrowdTasker situation overview
CrowdTasker Business Process
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DRIVER+ project has received funding from the European Union's 7th Framework Programme for Research,
Technological Development and Demonstration under Grant Agreement (GA) N° #607798