Supporting Decision Making in Disasters: The DiMas Tool

  • Eran LedermanEmail author
  • Luisa ChimenzEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 516)


Disasters leave a trail of destruction, casualties and ruined human lives. They can directly cause loss of life and injury, destroy cities, buildings, living and public spaces, and damage vital infrastructures necessary for everyday functions. The aims of this essay are to present the research tool, in its on-going and yet undefined configuration, and at the same time for involving the many time ICT aspects and challenges of coping with disaster risk reduction and relief, definitely necessary in the operational and disseminating phases beyond the tool itself. Within the paper, along with the exposition of our idea in its actual form – which considers the possibility of further variations – we will present the reasons of the whys and reach to descript how we do believe the tool should be, passing through the other major issues like the who and the what. The tool is intended to be structured as the outcome of an applied research project, for creating a decision supporting instrument which will enable a broad range of relevant stakeholders to choose the most suitable sheltering solution, dwelling unit or machinery needed. The DiMaS Tool research project aims to present itself as a possibility for sorting and mapping already existing ready-to-use solutions, by specific parameters and characteristics, creating a taxonomy and a related system and expressing it in a universal and understandable language, through the ICT skills, in order to help choose the most adequate answer, managing the implementation and responsive process quickly and effectively.


Design for disasters Disaster relief resilience and research Emergency preparedness 


Authors Contributions

The research here presented and the concept behind this work is directly and equally divided between the two authors, and part of an on-going research featured with international partners.


  1. 1.
    Adhitya, A., Srinivasan, R., Karimi, I.A.: Supply chain risk identification using a HAZOP-based approach. AIChE J. 55(6), 1447–1463 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baek, J.S., Meroni, A., Manzini, E.: A socio-technical approach to design for community resilience: a framework for analysis and design goal forming. Des. Stud. 40, 60–84 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bergdoll, B., Christensen, P.: Home Delivery – Fabricating the Modern Dwelling. Birkhäuser, Basel (2008)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brower, C., Mallory, R., Ohlman, Z.: Experimental Eco-Design: Architecture/Fashion/Product. RotoVision, Mies (2005)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Buchanan, R.: Design research and the new learning. Des. Issue 17(4), 3–22 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chamlee-Wright, E., Storr, V.H.: Social capital as a collective narrative and post-disaster community recover. Soc. Rev. 59(2), 266–282 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chen, L.C., Liu, Y.C., Chan, K.C.: Integrated community-based disaster management program in Taiwan: a case study of Shang-An village. Nat. Hazards 37(1–2), 209–223 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chimenz, L.: II Design Stra/ordinario. Ricerche, studi e progetti per abitare l’emergenza. di Scaranari Editore, Ferrara (2010)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Combaz, E.: Disaster Resilience: Topic Guide. Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (GSDRC), University of Birmingham, Birmingham (2014)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dymon, U.J.: An analysis of emergency map symbology. Int. J. Emerg. Manag. 1(3), 227–237 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gaillard, J.C., Mercer, J.: From knowledge to action: bridging gaps in disaster risk reduction. Prog. Hum. Geogr. 37(1), 93–114 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Haider, H., Mcloughlin, C., Scott, Z.: Topic Guide on Communication and Governance. Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (GSDRC), University of Birmingham, Birmingham (2011)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Höppner, C., Whittle, R., Bründl, M., et al.: Linking social capacities and risk communication in Europe: a gap between theory and practice? Nat. Hazards 64, 1753–1778 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jones, L., Tanner, T.: ‘Subjective resilience’: using perceptions to quantify household resilience to climate extremes and disasters. Reg. Environ. Change 17(1), 229–243 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kahn, S.: Helpdesk Research Report: Community Participation in Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery 30.05.08, pp. 1–9. Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (GSDRC), University of Birmingham, Birmingham (2008)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kapucu, N., Garayev, V.: Collaborative decision-making in emergency and disaster management. Int. J. Public Admin. 34, 366–375 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Manzini, E.: Design, When Everybody Design: An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation. MIT Press, Cambridge (2015)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    McQuaid, M.: Shigeru Ban. Phaidon, New York (2003)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Meroni, A., Sangiorgi, D.: Design for Services. Routledge, Abingdon-on-Thames (2011)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Murphy, B.L.: Locating social capital in resilient community-level emergency management. Nat. Hazards 41(2), 297–315 (2007)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Nakagawa, Y., Shaw, R.: Social capital: a missing link to disaster recovery. Int. J. Mass Emerg. Disasters 22(1), 5–34 (2004)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Norris, F.H., Stevens, S.P., Pfefferbaum, B., Wyche, K.F., Pfefferbaum, R.L.: Community resilience as a metaphor, theory, set of capacities, and strategy for disaster readiness. Am. J. Community Psychol. 41(1–2), 127–150 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ochoa, S.F., Neyem, A., Pino, J.A., Borges, M.R.S.: Supporting group decision making and coordination in urban disasters relief. J. Decis. Syst. 16(2), 143–172 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Papanek, V.: Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change. Thames & Hudson, London (1984). (reprinted 2011)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Patterson, O., Weil, F., Patel, K.: The role of community in disaster response. Popul. Res. Policy Rev. 29, 127–141 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Paulheim, H., et al: Improving Usability of Integrated Emergency Response Systems: The SoKNOS Approach. Accessed 25 Oct 2017
  27. 27.
    Practical Action, The Schumacher Centre, England: Defining the community’s role in disaster mitigation. Accessed 30 May 2017
  28. 28.
    Ralf, M. (ed.): Design Research Now. Essays and Selected Projects. Birkhäuser, Basel (2007)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Rittel, H.W.: The Reasoning of Designers. IGP, Montreal (1987)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Sanders, E.B.N., Stappers, P.J.: Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. Co-design 4(1), 5–18 (2008)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Schryen, G., Wex, F.: Risk reduction in natural disaster management through information systems: a literature review and an IS Design science research agenda. Int. J. Inf. Syst. Crisis Response Manag. (IJISCRAM) 6(1), 38–64 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Shah, F., Ranghieri, F.: A Workbook on Planning for Urban Resilience in the Face of Disasters: Adapting experiences from Vietnam’s Cities to Other Cities. The World Bank, Washington, D.C (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Solo, T.M., Godinot, M., Velasco, O.: Community participation in disaster management: reflections on recent experiences in Honduras and Nicaragua. In: Rawlings, S., et al. (eds.) Thinking out Loud IV: Innovative Case Studies on Participatory Instruments, pp. 19–26. The World Bank, Washington, D.C. (2003)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    United Nation Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience, Towards a Risk-Informed and Integrated Approach to Sustainable Development, United Nations (2017)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Von Vegesack, A., Bajetta, E.: Jean Prouvé: The Poetics of the Technical Object. Skira, Geneva (2007)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Weichselgartner, J., Kelman, I.: Geographies of resilience: challenges and opportunities of a descriptive concept. Prog. Hum. Geogr., 1–19 (2014)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Zanelli, A.: Trasportabile/Trasformabile. Idee tecniche per architetture in movimento. Libreria CLUP, Milano (2003)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Zhang, D., Zhou, L., Nunamaker Jr., J.: A knowledge management framework for the support of decision making in humanitarian assistance/disaster relief. Knowl. Inf. Syst. 4, 370–385 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Zlatanova, S., Crompvoets, J., Scholten, H.: Spatial Data Infrastructure for emergency management: the view of the users (2007). Accessed 10 Oct 2017

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bezalel Academy of Arts and DesignJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Department Architecture and DesignUniversity of Genoa‎GenoaItaly

Personalised recommendations