The project

LINKS “Strengthening links between technologies and society for European disaster resilience” is a comprehensive study on disaster governance in Europe. The overall aim of the LINKS project is to strengthen links between technologies and society for improved European disaster resilience, by producing sustainable advanced learning on the use of social media and crowdsourcing (SMCS) in disasters. 

In recent years, social media and crowdsourcing (SMCS) have been integrated into crisis management for improved information gathering and collaboration across European communities. The effectiveness of SMCS on European disaster resilience, however, remains unclear owing to the diversity among disaster risk perception and vulnerability (DRPV)disaster management processes (DMP) and disaster community technologies (DCT) across Europe today. From this point of departure, LINKS sets out to achieve four core objectives: 

Produce sustainable advanced learning on SMCS in disasters

Achieve a consolidated understanding of SMCS in disasters

Govern the diversity of SMCS in disasters

Bring multidisciplinary SMCS stakeholders together


The LINKS project will develop a Framework to understand, measure and govern SMCS for disasters. The LINKS Framework consists of scientific methods, practical tools, and guidelines addressing researchers, practitioners, and policy makers. It will be developed and evaluated through five practitioner-driven European cases, representing different disaster scenarios (earthquake, flooding, industrial disaster, terrorism, drought), cutting across disaster management phases and diverse socioeconomic and cultural settings in four countries (Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands). Furthermore, LINKS sets out to create the LINKS Community, which brings together a wide variety of stakeholders, including first-responders, public authorities, civil society organisations, business communities, citizens, and researchers across Europe, dedicated to improving European disaster resilience through the use of SMCS both online (LINKS Community Center) and in person (LINKS Community Workshops). 

The approach

In order to reach the core objectives of LINKS, the partners follow an integrative research approach, starting from an assessment of the three complementary knowledge domains:

  • Disaster Risk Perception and Vulnerability (DRVP)
  • Disaster Management Processes (DMP)
  • Disaster Community Technologies (DCT)

The assessment entails the collection and analyse knowledge and best practices of SMCS in disasters, through structured review, analysis of existing literature, policies, projects, mechanisms, tools, guidelines and processes. The LINKS Framework will be developed through a practitioner-driven approach and evaluated within specific case scenarios allowing to identify positive and negative impact of SMCS in different geographical contexts, conditions, and situations. The LINKS Community will be established and managed via:

for stakeholder engagement to ensure a continuous dialogue, communication and information exchange among different stakeholders.​​

to share knowledge, experiences, needs and ideas for the implementation of methods, tools and guidelines.

as a toolkit to implement the LINKS Community Center (LCC).

In LINKS, “diversity” and “stakeholder involvement” are important pillars in relation to the use of SMCS in disasters.

Diversity and stakeholder involvement are crucial for the development of the LINKS Framework, the LINKS Community Center and LINKS Community Workshops as they will contribute to a more inclusive and resilient disaster management in all cycles of disaster management: preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation and prevention.

Furthermore, the LINKS project is characterised by a multi-sectoral approach (which realise a link between practical experience and research), multi-disciplinarity (which merges social, technological and institutional aspects) and multi-system thinking (which combines professionals, organisations, local communities, public authorities from different geographical contexts), which together makes the results useful for different stakeholders.


The LINKS consortium brings together the expertise of 15 participating organizations and 2 associated partners across Europe (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands) and beyond (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Japan).

The LINKS partners have a wide range of experience and expertise in the areas of disaster management and governance. They represent EU emergency management and security organisations and networks (EOS – European Organization for Security, FEU – Federation of the European Union Fire Officer Associations a.s.b.l.) local and national first responder, civil protection and law enforcement agencies (DPPI SEE – Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South Eastern Europe, HBR – Hovedstadens Beredskab, PDT – Provincia di Terni Servizio Protezione Civile, VRZL – Veiligheidsregio Zuid-Limburg, SIC – safety innovation center e.V.), citizens, public authorities and civil society organizations (FRB – Frederiksberg Kommune, SCIT – Save the Children Italia ONLUS), business communities and industry (ST – Sitech Services of Chemelot, EOS – European Organization for Security), and research institutions (DHPol – Deutsche Hochschule Der Polizei, LCU – Link Campus University, SIC – safety innovation center e.V., UCC – Københavns Professionshøjskole, UCPH – Københavns Universitet, UNIFI – Università degli Studi di Firenze, VU – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam).


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 883490


Principal Investigator: Kees Boersma
Project Coordinator: Nathan Clark –

  • Members 15
  • Date 26 June 2020
  • Duration 42 Months
  • Contact Dieter Nuessler
    Gasper Bizjak