Wikis and Knowledge Management in Complex Emergencies

The Communication and Complex Emergencies Project is a multi-phase collaboration between the University of Adelaide’s Applied Communication Collaborative Research Unit and the Australian Civil-Military Centre. The current phase of the project focuses on a range of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and digital platforms and their role in supporting emergency and humanitarian relief and assistance processes during complex emergencies.

This guidance paper examines the use of wikis for enhanced knowledge management, lesson learning, situational awareness and communication during complex emergencies. Access to wiki software platforms facilitated by Internet connectivity or network access is helping collaborators and co-workers to generate, manage and disseminate knowledge in new ways. Collaborative tools such as wikis help emergency and humanitarian responders to better understand the situation that they face. They also help to reduce duplication in situational knowledge creation work and in aid response efforts. Wikis provide emergency and humanitarian organisations a level of access to collaborative opportunities, often when emergency response teams are geographically dispersed, that has previously not existed. Because of this, they will make an increasingly important contribution to future emergency and humanitarian aid delivery and practice.  

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