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PhD Study Focuses on Role of Social Media in Crisis Management

April 18, 2017

Dr Trishana Ramluckan.

A study that examined - from a South African governance perspective - the use of social media in the context of crisis communication and disaster management, was the focus of research by Doctor of Administration graduate, Dr Trishana Ramluckan.

Ramluckan, a Lecturer at UKZN, said public and private companies, governments and first responders in a crisis would benefit from her research. She said the study also addressed the importance of a quick response and communication tool in a crisis or disaster and the efficient management of such a facility.

Her supervisor, Dr Mogie Subban, said the study was a very interesting and timely project exploring the role of social media in crisis communication, during a period in South Africa when crisis intervention as a multi-sectoral approach was vital for improving service delivery.

Subban said: ‘Social media has become a new exchange and information platform in real time. This study was presented as an inter-disciplinary one, involving Public Governance and Information Technology. The work has received international recognition and has also been published.’

Ramluckan said the main challenge was aligning the area of South African public governance with a global IT or social media platform.

‘With the topic being so diverse, it required many long hours of hard work and support which I thankfully received from my work colleagues, dedicated and supportive supervisors, friends and family,’ said Ramluckan.

‘When I started on the degree, it looked like an unachievable task, something I was not accustomed to.’

Subban and co-supervisor Professor Brian McArthur congratulated Ramluckan on achieving this milestone in her career.

Sithembile Shabangu

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