Project Title

How Can Volunteers Best Be Utilized During Disaster Relief Efforts?

Presenters

Kylie BurnsFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

WCHHS - Social Work and Human Services

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Darlene Rodriguez- Schaefer

no human subjects

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Chaos is inevitable when disaster strikes. Entire communities are ravaged by the turmoil created following catastrophic events. To combat this chaos, strangers and community members alike will organically band together to help ease the strain on each other and attempt to create stability. When disaster hits, the skills of those who respond are put to the test, whether they are qualified experts or random spectators. A more pragmatic approach to organizing and utilizing volunteers must be offered to those in need to effectively support disaster victims. The components of more efficient volunteer utilization are examined in this study. Better-equipped volunteers with adequate support and guidance are more successful in helping than volunteers with no guide or instruction. The overall purpose of this qualitative research is to 1) Analyze prior studies around volunteer management and 2) Identify and consolidate successful concepts to better utilize volunteerism in disaster scenarios. Data will be collected and evaluated from twenty-six scholarly sources (from volunteer efforts globally) considering cultural and age-related differences. Conclusions will include specific issues, trends, and affiliations such as current management practices, conceptual frameworks, retention challenges, and volunteer health. These results will be presented at the Symposium for Student Scholars to better inform the development of a more complete agenda for volunteer utilization for disaster relief.

Keywords: disaster relief, volunteer, framework, volunteer utilization

Project Type

Event

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How Can Volunteers Best Be Utilized During Disaster Relief Efforts?

Chaos is inevitable when disaster strikes. Entire communities are ravaged by the turmoil created following catastrophic events. To combat this chaos, strangers and community members alike will organically band together to help ease the strain on each other and attempt to create stability. When disaster hits, the skills of those who respond are put to the test, whether they are qualified experts or random spectators. A more pragmatic approach to organizing and utilizing volunteers must be offered to those in need to effectively support disaster victims. The components of more efficient volunteer utilization are examined in this study. Better-equipped volunteers with adequate support and guidance are more successful in helping than volunteers with no guide or instruction. The overall purpose of this qualitative research is to 1) Analyze prior studies around volunteer management and 2) Identify and consolidate successful concepts to better utilize volunteerism in disaster scenarios. Data will be collected and evaluated from twenty-six scholarly sources (from volunteer efforts globally) considering cultural and age-related differences. Conclusions will include specific issues, trends, and affiliations such as current management practices, conceptual frameworks, retention challenges, and volunteer health. These results will be presented at the Symposium for Student Scholars to better inform the development of a more complete agenda for volunteer utilization for disaster relief.

Keywords: disaster relief, volunteer, framework, volunteer utilization