A crisis volunteer ‘sleeper cell’: An emergent, extending and expanding disaster response organisation
Understanding the diverse organisational forms of crisis volunteerism is crucial for enabling volunteers to play a more prominent role in disaster response. One of the most widely used analytical tools is the Disaster Research Center typology that identifies ‘established’, ‘expanding’, ‘extending’ and ‘emergent’ groups. However, not all disaster response volunteer groups necessarily fit within this typology. We examine the case of the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) in Aotearoa New Zealand, which has been considered a potential blueprint for youth‐led post‐disaster civic action. Examining a decade of successive disaster responses, we argue the SVA has come to simultaneously exhibit characteristics associated with ‘expanding’, ‘extending’ and ‘repeat emergent’ disaster response organisations. Drawing on in‐depth interviews with people involved with the SVA over its 10 years, we identify dualities in the SVA's tasks and structure that enable it to incorporate both new and existing or routine aspects into its disaster response efforts. In spanning these categories, we propose the SVA has become an ‘expectant’ crisis volunteer organisation—what one interviewee described as a crisis volunteer ‘sleeper cell’. Our discussion considers the possibilities and tensions within this distinct form of organisation.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordscrisis volunteerism; disaster response; organisation; Student Volunteer Army; youth; Business & Management
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