Teams are critical in developing effective responses to various disasters and crises. This study defines a new type of response team: a disaster intervention development team, charged with rapidly developing emergent and innovative interventions to aid disaster response. In this case study, we analyzed the SHIELD Enterprise, a disaster intervention development team that developed and deployed a diagnostic testing system for community surveillance and diagnosis to respond to the COVID-19 infectious disease outbreak. We conducted interviews with 27 team members to identify the work system barriers and facilitators they experienced and to analyze the influence on team performance to inform sociotechnical system design for future teams. We identified 215 barriers and 238 facilitators, which we inductively categorized into eight overarching groups, i.e., categories, that included ambiguity, team processes, technology, design and project requirements, knowledge and expertise, organization, task work and environment. Our findings led to eight sociotechnical system design principles to support future disaster intervention development teams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103948
JournalApplied Ergonomics
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Disaster response
  • Macroergonomics
  • Work system analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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