Towards a Socio-Technical Framework for Bridging the Digital Divide in Rural Emergency Preparedness and Response: Integrating User Adoption, Heterogeneous Wide-Area Networks, and Advanced Data Science

Mila Gasco‐Hernandez, Mariya Zheleva, Petko Bogdanov and J. Ramon Gil‐Garcia
May 23, 2019


The digital divide not only refers to individuals, but also to inequalities in access to technology and the Internet across countries and across regions within the same country.

For instance, lack of Internet access in rural areas has been identified as an important limitation to the development of those regions and to the effectiveness of government policies and programs that rely on a consistent and/or high-quality connection.

Emergency preparedness and response could be greatly affected by the lack of timely and accurate information about a disaster such as floods, fires, and storms. This paper proposes a socio-technical framework that integrates a potential technology solution, with optimization methods, and strategies for user adoption.

We argue that in order to bridge the digital divide in rural emergency preparedness and response, all these factors need to be systematically considered and integrated into a comprehensive framework, which could guide potential implementation.

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