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Request for Proposals: Crisis Informatics

Posted: 6/4/2018 (Funding)

As social media and messaging apps continue to become important communication tools in people’s everyday lives, they have also come to play important roles in how people prepare, respond to, and recover from disasters. For example, Facebook’s Safety Check and Community Help features make it easier for people impacted by a disaster to let loved ones know when they are safe, and request and offer help with neighbors, and Facebook’s Disaster Maps provide insights into evacuations and connectivity issues to humanitarian organizations responding to a crisis.

Facebook is supporting new and innovative research in the area of crisis informatics to make social media tools more useful to people responding to or impacted by a disaster. The research should explain how social media is currently used during a disaster, and it will unlock new tools and products to improve disaster response and recovery. No Facebook data will be provided to award recipients.

We are pleased to invite the academic community to respond to this call for research proposals on crisis informatics and the role of social media in disaster response and recovery. Research awardees will be expected to contribute insights and innovative solutions in this space, including but not limited to:

  • Methods for assessing the validity, relevance and usefulness of crisis maps or other data products for disaster preparedness, response and recovery
  • Topics and themes of social media posts that transcend individual regions, languages and disaster types
  • Methods for identifying disaster relief needs and conditions on the ground from social media posts and civilian reporting
  • Statistical models of movement, evacuation and long-term displacement due to natural disasters
  • Quantitative and qualitative insights into how humanitarian response organizations make use of social media or crisis informatics datasets for disaster preparedness, response and recovery
  • Novel techniques for visualization of social media crisis data
  • Case studies in the use of social media crisis data by humanitarian organizations
  • Data privacy in crisis informatics and social media crisis data
  • Bias and fairness in social media crisis data and its impact on disaster response

Submitted projects do not need to be about Facebook, and no Facebook data will be provided to award recipients. Successful proposals will demonstrate innovative and compelling research that has the potential to significantly advance the understanding and value of social media and social media data for disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

Representatives from each awarded project will be invited to a workshop with other participants in January 2019 to share preliminary results, and are expected to attend an evaluation meeting in May 2019. Travel costs to Menlo Park CA, USA should be included in the proposed budget. Award recipients will be listed on the Facebook Research website and will be encouraged to openly publish any findings from their work as well as make any code available as open source.

Three $50,000 USD gifts will be awarded.

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Deadline: 09/20/2018

Location: Facebook