How to Support Vulnerable Citizens during the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Community Initiative from Ubiquitous Network Perspectives

Hiroko Oe, Max Weeks


The current COVID-19 lockdown situation has had a negative impact on people’s connectedness which also has an influence on the well-being of the citizens (Canady, 2020; Hare-Duke, 2019; Oe, 2020). The enhancement of human interaction and networking is a key topic to sustain people’s health, and this has been on the emergent agenda during the current COVID-19 situation (Oe, 2020).To tackle this issue, one theory that could be employed is the efficacy of community members’ engagement, as proposed by McMillian and Chavis (1986), who summarised a key ‘sense of community’ model. This model suggests four main dimensions should be strengthened to engage community members in supporting vulnerable people: a sense of belonging, an emotional connection, fulfilment of needs, and influence (Bermea et al., 2019).This conceptual paper aims to enhance the discussion of how best to support vulnerable isolated citizens during the COVID-19 lockdown situation. A proposition framework suggests actionable implications with tangible recommendations for the relevant stakeholders. The authors propose two key themes to be considered: (1) how to meet needs and provide support in the virtual network community, and (2) how to implement assistive technologies as a ubiquitous network paradigm as a community safety net for all.


vulnerable citizens; Covid-19; community

Full Text:



Alter, K. (2007). Social enterprise typology. Virtue ventures LLC, 12(1), 1-124.

Anthopoulos, L., & Fitsilis, P. (2009, September). From online to ubiquitous cities: The technical transformation of virtual communities. In International Conference on e-Democracy (pp. 360-372). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Arif, S., & Yuhdi, A. (2020). Integration of High Order Thinking Skills in Research Method Subject in University. Britain International of Linguistics Arts and Education (BIoLAE) Journal, 2(1), 378-383.

Auerbach, C., & Silverstein, L. B., 2003. Qualitative data: An introduction to coding and analysis (Vol. 21). NYU press.

Bacq, S., & Janssen, F. (2011). The multiple faces of social entrepreneurship: A review of definitional issues based on geographical and thematic criteria. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 23(5-6), 373-403.

Baez Camargo, C., & Jacobs, E. (2011). A framework to assess governance of health systems in low income countries, Working Paper Series, 11. Available from Accessed 3 May 2020.

Barraket, J., Eversole, R., Luke, B., & Barth, S. (2018). Resourcefulness of locally-oriented social enterprises: Implications for rural community development. Journal of Rural Studies.

Bermea, A. M., Lardier Jr, D. T., Forenza, B., Garcia‐Reid, P., & Reid, R. J. (2019). Communitarianism and youth empowerment: Motivation for participation in a community‐based substance abuse prevention coalition. Journal of community psychology, 47(1), 49-62.

Bing-quan, L., Rong, H., Hai-xin, D., & Xu-dong, Z. (2020). Analysis on Behavior Factors of Successful Entrepreneurship of College Students of Local University in Guangdong Province. Britain International of Humanities and Social Sciences (BIoHS) Journal, 2(1), 35-44.

Brown, R. E. (2001). The process of community-building in distance learning classes. Journal of asynchronous learning networks, 5(2), 18-35.

Bull, M. (2018). Reconceptualising social enterprise in the UK through an appreciation of legal identities. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 24(3), 587-605.

Bull, M., & Ridley-Duff, R. (2019). Towards an appreciation of ethics in social enterprise business models. Journal of Business Ethics, 159(3), 619-634.

Canady, V. A. (2020). NAMI New Hampshire maintaining community connectedness. Mental Health Weekly, 30(16), 4-5.

Chen, Y., & Qu, L. (2020). Emerging participative approaches for urban regeneration in Chinese megacities. Journal of Urban Planning and Development, 146(1), 04019029.

Cigler, A., & Joslyn, M. R. (2002). The extensiveness of group membership and social capital: The impact on political tolerance attitudes. Political Research Quarterly, 55(1), 7-25.

Creagh, R., Babb, C., & Farley, H. (2020). Local Governments and Developers in Placemaking: Defining Their Responsibilities and Capacities to Shape Place. In Placemaking Fundamentals for the Built Environment (pp. 107-128). Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.

Dabaj, J., & Conti, R. L. (2020). Placemaking in Lebanese Cities Hosting Displaced Communities. The Journal of Public Space, 5(1), 219-246.

Defourny, J. and Nyssens, M. (2016), “Fundamentals for an International Typology of Social Enterprise Models”. Voluntas, Vol. 28, No 6, pp. 2469-2497

Duniam, M., & Eversole, R. (2013). Social Enterprises and Local Government: A Scoping Study, Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government, Sydney.

Edmonds, W. M., 2019. Snowballing: A Qualitative Study Using Snowball Sampling. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Edwards, R., and Holland, J., 2013. What is qualitative interviewing? A&C Black.

Etzioni, A. (2011). Citizenship in a communitarian perspective. Ethnicities, 11(3), 336-349.

Foth, M., Forlano, L., Satchell, C., & Gibbs, M. (Eds.). (2011). From social butterfly to engaged citizen: Urban informatics, social media, ubiquitous computing, and mobile technology to support citizen engagement. MIT Press.

Fowler, E. A., Coffey, B. S., & Dixon-Fowler, H. R. (2019). Transforming good intentions into social impact: A case on the creation and evolution of a social enterprise. Journal of Business Ethics, 159(3), 665-678.

Franklin, A., & Marsden, T. (2015). (Dis) connected communities and sustainable place-making. Local Environment, 20(8), 940-956.

Hare-Duke, L., Dening, T., de Oliveira, D., Milner, K., & Slade, M. (2019). Conceptual framework for social connectedness in mental disorders: Systematic review and narrative synthesis. Journal of affective disorders, 245, 188-199.

Hosseini, M., Angelopoulos, C.M., Chai, W.K. and Kundig, S., 2019. Crowdcloud: a crowdsourced system for cloud infrastructure. Cluster Computing, 22 (2), 455-470.

Huang, S. M., & Roberts, J. L. (2019). Place‐Making. The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies, 1-5.

ITU (2020) International standardization in virtual space: ITU’s decisive response to COVID-19, Available at [Accessed 8 May 2020]

Jafar, M., & Rahmayani, I. (2020). Reconstruction of Renewal of Community Development Methods in the World of Islamic Education in the Industrial 4.0 Era. Britain International of Humanities and Social Sciences (BIoHS) Journal, 2(1), 82-89.

Lu, X., Hinkelman, K., Fu, Y., Wang, J., Zuo, W., Zhang, Q., & Saad, W. (2019). An open source modeling framework for interdependent energy-transportation-communication infrastructure in smart and connected communities. IEEE Access, 7, 55458-55476.

Mansaray, H. E. (2019). The Consequence of Human Resource Planning on Organizational Performance: An Ephemeral Review. Britain International of Humanities and Social Sciences (BIoHS) Journal, 1(2), 50-61.

Markusen, A., & Gadwa, A. (2010). Creative placemaking. Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts.

McMillan, D. W., & Chavis, D. M. (1986). Sense of community: A definition and theory. Journal of Community Psychology, 14, 6–23.

Nasruddin, E., Misaridin, F., & Aulia, N. (2014). Innovation for a social enterprise business model: An analysis of key success factors, International Journal of Organizational Innovation, 7. 149-157.

Oe, H (2005) Empirical studies of social networks and the rehabilitation of stagnated communities, Graduate School of Information and Telecommunication Studies, Waseda University, Available at [Accessed 17 March 2020]

Salim, F., & Haque, U. (2015). Urban computing in the wild: A survey on large scale participation and citizen engagement with ubiquitous computing, cyber physical systems, and Internet of Things. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 81, 31-48.

Schultze, U. and Avital, M., 2011. Designing interviews to generate rich data for information systems research, Information and organization, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 1-16.

Skop, E., Bose, P., Hackworth, J., & Kaplan, D. H. (2019). Navigating Ethnicity: Segregation, Placemaking, and Difference. The AAG Review of Books, 7(1), 68-76.

Tanimoto, K. (2019). Do multi-stakeholder initiatives make for better CSR?. Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society.

Tetnowski, J., 2015. Qualitative case study research design. Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, 25(1), pp.39-45.

Weeks, M. and Oe, H. (2020) Is placemaking used by governments only to attract inward investment?, Field-based research on enhancement of inclusive community with diversified network actors [Discussion Paper Series: 2020-2]

Westall, A. (2001), Value-led, Market Driven. London: Institute Public Policy Research.


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 793 times
PDF - 248 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.