Social Capital as Mediating Variable between Social Media Use and Humanitarian Crises Response by Non-Profit Organizations in Yemen

Ahmed Salmen, Mokhtaruddin bin Ahmed


The major challenge that faces relief organizations during humanitarian crises is their ability to make proper decisions to respond in a timely manner through the diverse knowledge and information received from the disaster area. This study explored how Yemeni local relief organizations benefited from social media in their response decisions and early intervention through the study of their efforts during the current armed conflict in Yemen. The study focuses on the participants’ tools in making right decisions about the response, through building social capital in the virtual community as mediating variable, and their transformation into tangible results in real society. The data were collected by the distribution of 530 questionnaires to managers of organizations that had the participation in emergency or disaster relief in Yemen. Data were collected from the questionnaires and analyzed through quantitative method. Results showed that there was a speed in the accessibility of backgrounds for decision-making through social capital building inside social media, as well as accuracy in the nature of the intervention and response during crises. These results indicate the importance of social capital online developing the use of social media in the process of public communication during humanitarian crises to reduce the problem of the delayed response and prevent random relief works.   


Social Media; Response to humanitarian Crisis; social capital online; Access to information; knowledge sharing; Interactive participation.

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