All parties – individuals, organisations, regions, nations – need to be able to maintain autonomy in order to properly collaborate and develop joint responsibility. Collaboration should not require one organisation or community to give up control or lose their voice to achieve a shared ideal. A practitioner should not lose their autonomy to work in their disaster management role for the sake of representing a nation in cross-border politics. Within Europe, this notion is linked to ‘subsidiarity’, that is, the principle of devolving decision-making to the lowest possible level whilst supporting coordinative action at a higher level (EU Glossary).

  • Do not require an individual or group to give up control or standing in order to collaborate
  • Be aware of when cross-border interactions might lead to loss of choice for others


Jasmontaite, L., Delprato, U., Jager, B., Neubauer, G., and Leuven, K. (2015). Challenges for the Use of Information Technology and Standards in International Disaster Management. Berlin.
Schmidt, K. (1991). Riding a Tiger, or Computer Supported Cooperative Work. In Proceedings of the Second European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work ECSCW ’91 (pp. 1–16). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. [DOI

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