As Red Cross Red Crescent (RCRC) societies move forward to deliver digital disaster information and preparedness messaging, the Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC) is asking how best to capitalize on the growing accessibility of digital communications for future outreach. Emerging questions like, ‘Should we invest more in gaming or in applications that educate and/or deliver services?’ and ‘Which platforms and messages allow us to best reach people in a way that influences behavior toward better resilience?’ are important for more effective decisions around funding and design. Yet, answers to questions like these are impacted by many diverse factors, such as the needs of the specialized work practices of the RCRC organization, the capacity of different digital design strategies to support social practices, and the actual impact of messaging on the lives of users.
To begin to assess a baseline understanding of the “as-is” state of many of these factors, this report synthesizes the findings of three lines of research on effective preparedness messaging and digital design. They are (1) a disciplinary literature and RCRC documents review on messaging and design, (2) a user study of current RCRC digital applications, and (3) a process review of the design and development decisions of those RCRC applications.