Wimelius ME, Strandh V
Disasters - (-) - [2023-07-14; online 2023-07-14]
This paper explores and analyses the activities of Swedish organised crisis volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on a questionnaire and interviews, it sets out to answer two research questions on what characterised organised volunteerism during the pandemic, how organised volunteers experienced cooperation with local public actors, and how they viewed political steering. The paper contributes to a growing literature on the role of volunteers and links that role to views on political steering, something that is rarely done in disaster research. Sweden is a useful case study because of how COVID-19 was managed, as well as because there are organised crisis volunteers and a debate is occurring on how the national system is steered. The paper shows how organised volunteers adapted to changing needs and adopted new roles, that experiences of cooperation with local authorities varied, and that calls were made for a stronger national leadership and for more explicit central political steering.