Community Engagement & Healthcare Systems

Community Engagement is often an afterthought in crisis planning, recovery efforts, and research and has been repeatedly identified as a failure point in major disasters.  Creating effective, enduring research partnerships that bring together information scientists, community engaged researchers, disaster management professionals (practitioners) and a wide range of community stakeholders can improve scientific understanding and strengthen community response capacity. Performance improvements in this domain must be based on an increased understanding of how practitioners and impacted communities actually conduct their response, operations, and logistics work, including stakeholder roles, strategies, practices, information usage, constraints, motivations, and environments.

Community Engagement in Research (CEnR) also is complex, resource intensive endeavour that is not as controlled as laboratory based research.  This track will engage participants in a discussion of CEnR projects geared toward integrating community, informatics, and disaster management as well as the theoretical and practical problems associated with performing research in this space.  Special attention will also be paid to citizen observatory and citizen sensor approaches.


Standard papers track


Possible topics of interest for this track include the following:

  • Community/Academic partnerships for disaster planning & response
  • Crisis information systems design for underserved & marginalized communities
  • Attitudes of practitioners towards using new technologies for crisis management
  • Working effectively with civil defense & first responder experts and authorities
  • Consideration of human rights in approaches to uncertainty during crisis response operations and the organizations that conduct them (for example, INGOs in humanitarian operations)
  • Individual level human crises within the context of broader disaster events
  • Visualizing community and neighborhood level data to inform crisis management efforts
  • Network centric approaches to optimizing community, responder, and government interactions and coordination
  • Healthcare and Public Health systems as a bridge to vulnerable communities during disaster events
  • Disaster eHealth


Zeno Franco
Medical College of Wisconsin, USA

Associate Professor, Family & Community Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, USA; Computer Science, Marquette University, USA.  Dr. Franco is a former board member of ISCRAM and former US Dept. of Homeland Security Fellow.  His research focuses on community engagement, community collaborative ICT design, and domestic (US) disasters in marginalized / health disparities communities.

Bas Linjse
Radboud University, Netherlands

Assistant Professor, Radboud University, Netherlands.  Dr. Lijnse’s work focuses on dynamic workflows for crisis management, command and control, and programming languages to support these tasks. He has worked extensively with the Netherlands Coast Guard to develop task management strategies for search and rescue activities using the Clean language.  Dr. Lijnse is a long time member of ISCRAM, having chaired the Research Methods track, among others.

Reem Abbas
Auckland University of Technology

PhD candidate, Auckland University of Technology (AUT). Ms. Abbas is interested in eHealth and finding ways of improving healthcare delivery during natural and human-made disasters. Her research on cross-agency collaboration and information exchange addresses the communication challenges between clinical and emergency management personnel during disasters, and how these two groups can make effective use of the available e-health tools that are currently revolutionizing mainstream healthcare. Her research also aims at developing a curriculum framework that could be standardized for enhancing communication during disasters.

Sheikh Iqbal Ahamed
Marquette University, USA

Professor, Marquette University, USA.  Dr. Ahamed’s research work focuses on building customized and innovative patient communication methods through technology, developing new and innovative approaches for health monitoring, pain management, mapping technologies, and activity monitoring for smartphones. He has worked with hospitals in the U.S. and internationally on a number of projects, as well as with leading healthcare companies in the healthcare industry. Dr. Ahamed has worked with a number of engineers, nurses, and physicians on 20 healthcare grants over the past 13 years.