Improving volunteer management with crowdtasking (Experiment 42) in Vienna

Improving volunteer management with crowdtasking (Experiment 42) in Vienna

When a crisis emerges many citizens want to help but using these volunteers effectively is a significant challenge. Professional responders work within established information chains and assigned roles. In contrast, volunteers rarely have any training and do not fit within a chain of command.

To address this challenge and to find an accessible and effective means of interaction with volunteers three DRIVER partners (Austrian Red Cross, Austrian Institute of Technology and Frequentis) are undertaking an experiment using the ‘CrowdTasker’ tool. This involves cooperation between the separate work streams in DRIVER dealing with civil society resilience (SP3) and strengthened professional response(SP4).

The experiment will take place over two days in Vienna during February.

The scenario for the experiment assumes a simulated crisis event in which exhausted refugees arrive at the Vienna main station without proper clothing for cold temperatures. The volunteers are needed to first obtain an overview of the situation at the train station and second to offer their help by providing warm clothing and food.

On the first day of the exercise crisis managers will be trained to use the new tool, scenario tasks for the volunteers will be set up and volunteers will be asked to register. On the second day, the actual exercise takes place in which the registered volunteers are notified and asked to perform simple tasks.

The results of the experiment will help to improve the interaction with volunteers in crisis and disaster management. More information and contact details for the experiment leaders can be found at