Towards a people centred early warning and disaster response system in Samoa: the use of ICT by Samoans during disaster

Mow, Ioana Chan / Charles Martin-Shields / Hobert Sasa / Lealaolesau Fitu
External Publications (2017)

published on The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries 81 (2), 1-18


This paper reports on the findings of a 400 household survey which investigated what sources of information and technical medium Samoan citizens trust and act upon in times of disaster. Findings of the survey indicated the following. 1)The predominance and pervasiveness of mobile phones at 91% indicate its potential for use in any disaster response and relief interventions. 2) With only 34% of mobile phones being Smart phones: disaster preparedness, early warning and response interventions should target basic mobile phone sets. 3) With 65% of respondents using Face Book this social media should be considered as a possible avenue for lateral dissemination for early warning and disaster response. 4) The predominance of
radio followed by TV as an important, trusted source of information which people act on indicate its important role in any emergency response interventions. Since these media are trusted sources they should be used extensively for dissemination of information for preparedness, early warning and disaster response. 5) Professional reporters are regarded by the majority as the most predominantly used, the most trusted and the most important source of information and news during an emergency. The findings of this survey generate important considerations towards a people centred early warning and disaster relief system.

About the author

Martin-Shields, Charles

Political Science


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