The role of social networks in management of infrastructure, technology, natural resources, and disasters in emerging states

University of  Tokyo
Assistant Professor

Petr Matous


Networks of informal social relationships are highly instrumental for the flow of information and indispensible resources when these cannot be accessed through formal channels, e.g. due to immature institutions, limited infrastructure, or natural disasters. Therefore, when managing projects in the challenging contexts of emerging states, it is recommendable to consider the structure of networks that the projects are embedded in.
I have been involved in diverse research project showing the relevance of networks for economic and social development across Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Together with Professor Todo, we have conducted experiments and developed original survey instruments for social network data collection in the unique context of emerging states. We have applied analytical methods ranging from state of the art statistical techniques for dynamically coevolving multiplex networks to qualitative explorations of communication content. These network studies provide practical implications for tackling complex challenges the emerging states are facing, for example, in the domains of community-based project management, management of information and communication technologies for international development, natural resource management, assessment of social impacts of infrastructure development, supply chain management, disaster management. We are excited about this joint multidisciplinary emerging states research project and hope to further advance our understanding of the role of social networks for equitable and sustainable development of these rapidly changing countries.