Comparative review of social media analysis tools for preparedness

Number of pages: 69 p.

This report examines how Social Media Analysis Tools (SMAT) are a valuable tool not only for disaster response, but also for DRR and disaster preparedness efforts as they allow for community engagement and the ability to ‘listen to’ conversations on social media. The report examines 31 SMAT that can contribute to the disaster preparedness work of humanitarian actors in a variety of ways, such as: evaluating and improving the quality of preparedness messages; increasing the reach of preparedness messages; scheduling preparedness messages to increase their relevance, and managing the organisation’s reputation.

The comparative review also outlines barriers that influence the selection and use of SMAT by RCRC actors, related to the user (e.g., limited financial resources and time) and the tool (e.g., cost, difficult to use). Recommendations on how these barriers can be overcome are provided and brought to life through four use cases that provide solutions to the complexity of selecting a suitable tool to analyse social media data.

General recommendations and strategic advice on how to prepare for the use of social media and SMAT within DRR and preparedness activities are highlighted in the report, in addition to specific recommendations on the variety of purposes that SMAT can be used for and future considerations and next steps in the use of SMAT for preparedness and DRR. The report is based on desk-based research and primary research with RCRC actors, researchers, and SMAT developers.

The report was funded by the Global Disaster Preparedness Center, and designed to support the Red Cross Red Crescent (RCRC) network and other humanitarian actors in their selection and use of SMAT for disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction (DRR).