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CROWD-SOURCED GOVERNANCE IN A POST-DISASTER CONTEXT

  • Shahla F Ali (a1)
Abstract

In the wake of recent catastrophic natural disasters, the United Nations (UN) has developed an increasingly sophisticated network of collaborative partnerships to assist with humanitarian relief operations. The growing use of open-source technology such as crowd mapping and resource tracking—being universally accessible, collaboratively designed, subject to ongoing improvement, and responsive to on-the-ground needs—reflects in many respects the emerging UN governance mechanisms developed to support the creation of such technology. The 2008 meeting of the World Economic Forum called for increased documentation and ‘dissemination of the work of humanitarian relief’ and ‘mapping of assets, non-food items’ and resources to prevent duplication.1 However, as yet, little attention has been given to the role of open-source governance mechanisms in the context of disaster response. This article aims to fill this gap by examining the emerging mechanisms by which private sector collaboration is coordinated by international institutions such as the UN. It finds that the emergence of post-disaster open-source humanitarian relief reflects the observations of new governance legal scholars that coordination is increasingly the result of expanded participation and partnership on the part of governments and non-State actors, a learning-focused orientation, with the State increasingly acting as a convener, catalyst and coordinator.

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2 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (‘OCHA’), Compilation of United Nations Resolutions on Humanitarian Assistance (2009) 1 <http://www.unrol.org/files/Compliation_OCHA_Humanitarian_Resolutions_2009.pdf>.

3 Ibid.

4 UN Resolution 2001, A/RES/56/76, Towards global partnerships <http://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/issues_doc/un_business_partnerships/A_RES_56_76.pdf>.

5 Ibid.

6 OCHA, Independent Analysis: Normative decisions of key governing bodies of funds, programmes and specialized agencies of the United Nations System in humanitarian assistance (2008) <http://ochanet.unocha.org/p/Documents/Reference%20Guide%20-%20Phase%20II%20-%20Independent%20Analysis.pdf>.

8 Ibid 3.

9 OCHA (n 6) 5.

10 OCHA (n 7) 87–97.

13 IASC, About the Inter-Agency Standing Committee <http://www.humanitarianinfo.org/iasc/pageloader.aspx?page=content-about-default>.

14 OCHA, Inter-Agency Standing Committee (2011) 2.

15 ISCA, Guidelines on Common Operational Datasets in Disaster Preparedness and Response (2010) 1.

16 Ibid.

17 ibid.

18 UNOP, Welcome to the United Nations Office for Partnerships <http://www.un.org/partnerships/>.

19 World Economic Forum and OCHR, Guiding Principles for Public-Private Collaboration for Humanitarian Action (2007) <http://www.un.org/partnerships/Docs/Principles%20for%20Public-Private%20Collaboration%20for%20Humanitarian%20Action.pdf>.

20 UN Foundation, UN Partnership Annual Report 2010, 7–8 <http://www.un.org/partnerships/Docs/A_65_347.pdf>.

21 Ibid.

22 Solomon, JM, ‘Law and Governance in the 21st Century Regulatory State’ (2008) 86 TexLRev 819–56.

23 Lobel, O, ‘The Renew Deal: The Fall of Regulation and the Rise of Governance’ (2004) 89 MinnLRev 342.

24 Solomon (n 22); Cohen, AJ, ‘Negotiation, Meet New Governance: Interests, Skills, and Selves’ (2008) 33 L&SocInquiry 503.

25 Alexander, LT, ‘Stakeholder Participation in New Governance: Lessons from Chicago's Public Housing Reform Experiment’ (2009) 16 Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy 117.

26 Dorf, MC and Sabel, CF, ‘A Constitution of Democratic Experimentalism’ (1998) 98 ColumLRev 267; Solomon (n 22); Cohen (n 24).

27 Cohen (n 24).

28 Ibid.

29 Salamon, LM, ‘The New Governance and the Tools of Public Action: An Introduction’ (2001) 28 FordhamUrbLJ 1611.

30 Alexander (n 25).

31 Ibid.

32 K Warner, ‘Assessing Institutional and Governance Needs Related to Environmental Change and Human Migration’ German Marshall Fund of the United States (June 2010) <http://www.ehs.unu.edu/file/get/5301>.

33 Lehr, A, ‘Old and New Governance Approaches to Conflict Minerals: All Are Better Than One’ (2010) 58 HarvardIntlLJ 148, 151.

34 Ibid 153; and Solomon, JM, ‘New Governance, Preemptive Self-Regulation, and the Blurring of Boundaries in Regulatory Theory and Practice’ (2010) WisLRev 591, 598.

35 Ibid 152.

36 ibid 153.

37 ibid 332.

38 ibid 333.

39 ibid.

40 ibid.

41 O Lobel (n 23) 381–2.

42 Lobel, O, ‘Setting the Agenda for New Governance Research’ (2004) 89 MinnLRev 498, 505.

43 Ibid 373–4.

44 ibid 374.

45 NeJaime, D, ‘When New Governance Fails’ (2009) 70 OhioStLJ 323, 338–41.

46 Sturm, S, ‘Gender Equity Regimes and the Architecture of Learning’ in de Búrca, G and Scott, J (eds), Law and New Governance in the EU and the US (Hart Publishing 2006) 323–62.

47 NeJaime (n 45) 346–7.

48 Egeland, J, ‘Towards a Stronger Humanitarian Response System’ (2005) 24 FMR IDP Supplement 4.

49 ibid 4.

50 Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), Guidance Note on Using the Cluster Approach to Strengthen Humanitarian Response (24 November 2006) 2.

51 Ibid 2–4.

52 ibid 10.

53 IASC, Handbook for RCS and HCS on Emergency Preparedness and Response (2010) 35.

54 ibid 11–13.

55 IASC provides for a six-step standard operating procedure for designating cluster leads: (1) consultations with local government, UN agencies, NGOs, and other IOs to determine capacities, leaders, cross-cutting issues, and needed OCHA support; (2) proposal is drafted by the humanitarian coordinator and forwarded to New York; (3) the head of OCHA reviews the proposal with the members of IASC; (4) the OCHA head ensures that IASC agrees at the global level; (5) OCHA informs the in-country coordinator of its decision; (6) the coordinator informs local government and country-level partners. IASC, Operational Guidance on Designating Sector/Cluster Leads in Major New Emergencies (May 2007) 2.

56 Ibid 8.

57 ibid 10.

58 ibid.

59 ibid 11–12.

60 ibid 13.

61 ibid 14–16.

62 ibid 18.

63 ibid 20.

64 ibid 21.

65 J Steets et al., ‘Cluster Approach Evaluation 2: Synthesis Report’ (2010) 24.

66 Heath, JB, ‘Managing the “Republic of NGO”: Accountability and Legitimation Problems Facing the UN Cluster System’ (2014) 47 VandtransnatlL 239, 251.

67 Ibid.

68 For the origins of the concept, see Dorf and Sabel (n 26) 267.

69 Heath (n 66) 281. See also CF Sabel and Simon, WH, ‘Minimalism and Experimentalism in the Administrative State’ (2011) 100 GeoLJ 53; de Búrca, G, ‘New Governance and Experimentalism: An Introduction’ (2010) WisLRev 227.

70 Dorf and Sabel (n 26) 322.

71 Ibid 288.

72 Heath (n 66) 281.

73 Ibid 284.

74 Ibid 289.

75 Ibid 37.

76 See eg Dorf and Sabel (n 26) 332.

77 Heath (n 66) 281.

78 Noveck, B, ‘The Single Point of Failure’ in Van der Hof, S and Groothuis, M (eds), Innovating Government (Asser Press 2011) 77, 85.

79 van der Heijden, J, ‘Is New Governance the Silver Bullet? Insights from the Australian Buildings Sector’ (2013) 31(4) Urban Policy and Research 453.

80 Solomon (n 22).

81 See eg de Búrca (n 69); and NeJaime (n 45).

82 Alexander, LT, ‘Reflections on Success and Failure in New Governance and the Role of the Lawyer’ (2010) WisLRev Symposium Afterword 737, 738.

83 Ibid 740–1; see also Ali, S, ‘Measuring Success in Devolved Collaboration’ (2010) 26(1) Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law 93.

84 See: Lobel, Orly and Amir, On, ‘Stumble, Predict, Nudge: How Behavioural Economics Informs Law and Policy’ (2009) 108 Columbia Law Review 2098.

85 Alexander (n 82).

86 ibid.

87 ibid.

88 Solomon (n 22).

89 Ibid; Cohen (n 24).

90 Alexander (n 25).

91 Dorf and Sabel (n 26) 267; Solomon (n 22); Cohen (n 24).

92 Cohen (n 24).

93 Ibid.

94 LM Salamon (n 29).

95 Alexander (n 25).

96 Ibid.

97 UN Foundation, ‘Disaster Relief 2.0’ (2011) <http://www.unfoundation.org/assets/pdf/disaster-relief-20-report.pdf>.

100 O Lacey-Hall, Head, Regional Office for the Asia & Pacific, OCHA, ‘Communication as Aid’ (2012) <http://ochanet.unocha.org/p/Documents/OLH%20ADRRN%20Speech%20-%20Phnom%20Penh%20090212.pdf>.

101 IRIN, ‘Technology: IRIN's pick of the year 2011’ <http://www.irinnews.org/Report/94565/TECHNOLOGY-IRIN-s-pick-of-the-year-2011> and ‘Technology: IRIN's pick of the year 2010’

<http://www.irinnews.org/Report/91414/TECHNOLOGY-IRIN-s-pick-of-the-year-2010>.

103 Ibid.

104 MSF, ‘MSF Affiliated Organizations’ (2011) <http://www.msf.org/msf/articles/2011/12/msf-affiliated-organisations.cfm>.

105 The World Summit of the Information Society (‘WSIS’) Tunis Commitment 2005, para 36 states, ‘36. We value the potential of ICTs to promote peace and to prevent conflict which, inter alia, negatively affects achieving development goals. ICT can be used for identifying conflict situations through early-warning systems preventing conflicts, promoting their peaceful resolution, supporting humanitarian action, including protection of civilians in armed conflicts, facilitating peacekeeping missions, and assisting post conflict peace-building and reconstruction.’

106 D Stauffacher, ‘Strengthening Crisis Information Management’ (2011) XLVIII(3) UN Chronicle <http://unchronicle.un.org/article/strengthening-crisis-information-management/index.html>.

107 ICT4Peace, ‘The ICT4Peace Story’ (2010) <http://ict4peace.org/whoweare>.

108 Stauffacher (n 107).

109 SecondMuse, ‘What are we up to’ (2013 Report) <http://www.secondmuse.com/>.

110 Random Hacks of Kindness, ‘About’ (2012) <http://www.rhok.org/about>.

111 Ibid 10.

112 ibid 15.

113 ibid 23.

114 SecondMuse, Random Hacks of Kindness (2014) <http://secondmuse.com/portfolio/random-hacks-of-kindness/>.

115 Ibid.

116 See generally: E Walker, R Siegel, T Khozein, N Skytland, A Llewellyn, T Aldrich, M Brennan, ‘Lessons in Mass Collaboration’, Stanford Social Innovation Review (26 May 2014) <http://www.ssireview.org/blog/entry/lessons_in_mass_collaboration>.

117 For more, see <www.understandrisk.org>.

118 For more, see <www.globalquakemodel.org>.

119 Random Hacks of Kindness, ‘2013 Report’ 6 <http://open.nasa.gov/blog/2013/03/11/random-hacks-of-kindness-report-2013/>.

120 Ibid 10.

121 ibid 23.

122 ibid 10.

123 ibid 14.

124 ibid 14.

125 ibid 25.

126 ibid 26.

127 ibid 42.

128 ibid 44.

129 UNCTAD, ‘Partnership for Development: Information and Knowledge for Development’ (2004) 6–7 <unctad.org/en/docs/td394_en.pdf>.

130 Ibid.

131 Stauffacher (n 107) (emphases added).

132 Ibid (emphases added).

133 Harvard University, Humanitarian Health Conference 2007: Final Report 18 <http://hhi.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/publications/hhc_2007_final_report.pdf> (emphases added).

134 Ibid 18–19.

135 ibid 19.

136 ibid 19–20.

137 ibid.

138 Solomon (n 22).

139 Alexander (n 82).

140 Ibid 740–1; see also Ali (n 83).

141 OCHA (n 6) 16–17.

142 Ibid.

143 World Economic Forum (n 1) 1.

144 Ibid.

145 ibid.

The author thanks the Government of Hong Kong's University Grants Committee for its kind support through its ECS Grant (HKU 757412H). For further elaboration, see S Ali, Governing Disasters (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

1 World Economic Forum, Public-Private Partnerships for Humanitarian Action: Building upon Progress and Defining a Path Forward (2008) 2.

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