Chapter 15: The social life of disaster information: cultivating resources for emergent information infrastructures in Nepal
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Information infrastructure studies in the fields of human-computer interaction (HCI) and science and technology studies (STS) have sought to understand the ways in which information and communication technology have enabled information sharing and work practice in science and other enterprises, as well as contribute to the design of such systems. While humanitarian information infrastructures may usefully be viewed as emergent, the recurring nature of large-scale international disaster relief activations creates the possibility for, innovations in humanitarian technology to become expected assets during responses to future emergencies. This chapter focuses on the practices of technologists, community organizers, and government officials that cause such infrastructure to emerge. We look at the "creative acts of infrastructuring"] that support the creation, sharing, and use of critical information products in the wake of a major natural disaster. In particular, we draw attention to the resources that enabled them to accomplish their infrastructuring activities. Our study thus seeks to identify the resources that humanitarian technologists drew upon to support their efforts toward the infrastructuring of a particular set of information infrastructures. This focus on the resources that support infrastructuring allows us to chart the relationship between the investments made in building local capacities and networks related to information technology with the events that took place during the response to the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.

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Edited by Eric W. Welch