Responding to Crisis: A Sociotechnical tale of Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL)

Abstract: Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL) emerged as a focal actor in the Nepal earthquake event because of its active use of digital technologies. The technologies were used to map and cluster the earthquake effected zones and communities that supported disaster management (DM) activities, such as responding to the crisis. Without these technologies it was quite difficult to get the real time location of the victims, and to do the measurement of the hazards.  KLL is hailed for its action across the world and gain academic attraction as well. However, it gives rise to the question: was it just interplay of various digital tools or something beyond that. Our preliminary understandings based on existing literature indicate that crisis response is not just interplay of digital tools but mobilization of human and technical actors that translates collective intention into action. However, how does this mobilization take place, and how does interaction of social and technical actors translate their intention into action, particularly in responding to the crisis is a matter of further enquiry. To enhance understanding in this regard, we present an interpretive case study of Kathmandu Living Lab (KLL). The study employs Actor-Network Theory (ANT) to explore the answers of the questions that are raised earlier.

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