Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Urban Governance and Social Innovation

Platform Governance of Self-Organized Initiatives in Response to Disasters


In times of crises or disaster, the response capacity of public authorities is put under extreme pressure. In contrast, citizens are resilient in times of crises and are increasingly organizing themselves. The new possibilities offered by social media and online platforms have the potential for citizen self-organization.

In practice, we see that governments struggle to deal properly with this type of self- organization, even though it offers a unique opportunity to boost responsiveness. Governments that succeed in making use of citizen initiatives can gain access to new opportunities and increase their effectiveness. This chapter addresses the following question: What role do online platforms play in the governance of self-organized citizen initiatives in response to crises and disasters? We will answer this question by considering two examples: the role played by online platforms in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal and the coordination of the Dutch refugee crisis in the winter of 2015-2016.

Reference Boersma, K., Ferguson, J., Groenewegen, P., Mulder, F., Schmidt, A., & Wolbers, J. (2019). Platform Governance of Self-Organized Initiatives in Response to Disasters. In J. Koppenjan, P. M. Karré, & K. Termeer (Eds.), Smart Hybridity: Potentials and Challenges of New Governance Arrangements (1e druk ed., pp. 31-42). Den Haag : Eleven International Publishing.
1 January 2019