Problem solving in homeland security and creating policy conditions for enhanced civic engagement: An examination of crowdsourcing models
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This thesis examines crowdsourcing experiments and engagement models, the leveraging of technology in these pursuits, and their potential utility for solving problems in the homeland security enterprise. Rather than identifying a gap or seeking to fix something that is broken, the research evaluates the potential benefits of employing crowdsourcing models in homeland security and its related disciplines. It uses appreciative inquiry to evaluate how existing successful models might open new pathways between government and citizens for the generation of knowledge, the exchange of information, or for innovation in approaches to problem solving. This thesis advances the hypothesis that, within the body of crowdsourcing and engagement models, a combination of ideas, examples, approaches, and successes exists that demonstrates potential utility for the homeland security field. The research findings exhibited this potential, manifesting in new partnerships and the creation of new knowledge. Participants, aided only by personal technology, self-organized some initiatives; in other cases, participants simply needed a platform to enable their motivation to contribute. These platforms for engagement and pathways to them were a consistent part of the narrative across the literature. Contributions by the non-professional was also a consistent theme, as was a need for a balanced approach that provides a safe framework within which to operate.
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