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Abstract

Crisis response is the most critical stage in crisis management during which actors make important decisions on mitigating a crisis. However, the decision making in such situations is a complex sociotechnical phenomenon. The literature specifies crisis response to include four steps (i.e., observation, interpretation, choice, and dissemination) and suggests a sociotechnical approach for analyzing them. However, we still lack theoretical guidelines for conducting sociotechnical analyses of the complexity involved in the crisis response activities. To help fill this knowledge gap, we present an interpretive case study on Kathmandu Living Labs’ (KLL) role in the response to the Nepal earthquake in 2015. We analyze the case using actor-network theory (ANT) and explore how a social entrepreneur from KLL enrolled different technical and human actors and mobilized them in the crisis response. We use ANT to explore the temporal and interdependent role of digital volunteers, local communities, and technologies in responding to the crisisWe demonstrate the usefulness of ANT’s translation process in understanding the complex sociotechnical process of crisis response in disaster events.

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