Tag Archive | humanitarian aid

PODCAST: Gisli Olafsson on Humanitarian Response in a Time of Mass Collaboration

On October 4, 2011, Gisli Olafsson, Emergency Response Director of NetHope, gave a presentation at the Woodrow Wilson Center on how digital volunteer communities and new technologies, like social media and crowd mapping, are revolutionizing the way humanitarian response will be conducted in the future.

  • For a short summary of Gisli Olafsson’s presentation click here.
  • For a link to a short podcast with Gisli Olafsson click  here.
  • For a link to an archived video of the full event, Gisli Olafsson’s PPT, and a longer summary of his presentation and the roundtable discussion that followed click here.

NGA Deploys Apps for Humanitarian Aid Mission | Spatial Sustain

by Matt Ball, Spatial Sustain, on October 17, 2011

Letitia Long, director of the National Geospatial-Information Agency, demonstrated a number of applications that they have developed to deal with their humanitarian assistance mission. … With the applications, the first responder can zoom into the area of interest and see both before and after imagery. The application can serve the equivalent of 6,000 pages per hour on the mobile device. …

For full text of the article, visit NGA Deploys Apps for Humanitarian Aid Mission | Spatial Sustain.

GIS Enables the Humanitarian Response: A Perspective from the United Nations

By Craig Williams, John Marinos, UN OCHA, Directions Magazine, September 22, 2011

Summary: Managing information during a humanitarian emergency is a crucial part of any relief operation. Geospatial information is central to the United Nations’ efforts, from early warning to emergency preparedness to emergency response. Craig Williams and John Marinos, both with the UN OCHA Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, describe the people and resources needed to manage in a crisis.

For full text of the article, visit: GIS Enables the Humanitarian Response: A Perspective from the United Nations – Directions Magazine.

World Bank Webcast: Open Data, Open Knowledge, Open Solutions: Possibilities and Pitfalls

Open Data, Open Knowledge, Open Solutions: Possibilities and Pitfalls

Thursday, September 22, 2011; 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Watch Live from the World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington, DC! As part of the World Bank’s 2011 Annual Meetings and Civil Society Forum, The World Bank will host a discussion with leading members of the civil society, open government, open development communities to discuss a new “Open Development Agenda,” in which individuals are empowered to create better solutions for development issues. The session will begin with an overview of Open Development, its implications for development partners, and how this move toward greater openness in data and knowledge is changing the entire development paradigm. It will include a lively moderated conversation on the opportunities presented by open data, open knowledge, and open solutions and how these relate to development challenges and aid effectiveness. Topics will include: What are the potential limitations of “open”? How can we draw on knowledge, learning, and innovation from a much wider pool of “solvers” and donor resources? Participants will also have an opportunity to see new mobile apps and the updated Mapping for Results portal. The session will close with an open dialogue, where participants will have an opportunity to present their ideas and feedback on the changing roles of the private sector, civil society organizations, and governments in making development more effective.

Crowd and Crown: Social Media and Mapping for International Crisis Response

Crowd and Crown:Policy Issues in Social Media and Mapping

for International Crisis Response 

Crowdsourcing and crisis mapping have opened new approaches to making sense of crises. Yet these new technologies raise unanswered questions. When a refugee tweets her location with a request for help, is she still safe? How do we know that the content of the message is from a refugee at all? And do we have a responsibility to act on that request for aid? Developing policies that connect the crowd to the large, traditional institutions that respond to emergencies will require asking these questions and developing some initial (and imperfect) answers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
3:00-4:30pm

6th Floor Moynihan Board Room
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20004

This meeting is free and open to the public. Allow time for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required for entry.

The Woodrow Wilson Center is located in the Ronald Reagan Building (Federal Triangle stop on Blue/Orange Line, or down the street from Metro Center stop on the Red Line). Public parking is available underneath the Reagan Building; however we recommend metro or taxi. www.wilsoncenter.org/directions

About John Crowley, Research Fellow, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative John Crowley is a research fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and an analyst (contract) with the STAR-TIDES initiative at the National Defense University. He was the lead author of the recent UN Foundation study, Disaster Relief 2.0. He also leads a community of software developers that convene at Camp Roberts to work on the difficult inter-organizational issues that emerge from crowdsourcing and crisis mapping. He holds degrees in public policy, history, and music from Harvard and Boston University, and was the 2008 Robert C. Seamans Fellow in Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He tweets at @jcrowley.

The Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP)focuses on emerging technologies and the critical choices innovation presents to public policy. Our work ranges from nanotechnology, geoengineering, and synthetic biology to serious games, participatory technology assessment, transformative social media, and geospatial technology.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Center establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open, and informed dialogue. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds and engaged in the study of national and international affairs.

Crisis Commons and University Researcher Help Digitize Disaster Relief

University Of Maryland Professor Helps Digitize Disaster Relief

by Sabri Ben-Achour, WAMU 88.5

April 21, 2011 – The earthquake in Japan wrought massive destruction in that country, and part of the humanitarian need there — and in any disaster — is the need for information. Now, a group of volunteers from around the globe, including one local professor, are working to make sure that in the future responders and refugees might help and be helped as fast as possible. At his desk at the University of Maryland, Professor Hiroyuki Iseki has a Google map of post-earthquake Japan up on his screen. … Iseki says there were able to locate public phones, charging stations, food supplies, water distribution centers and locations accepting evacuees. He says the data comes from people driving in the field, who then use smart phones to upload information to the Internet. …

It’s an experiment — an attempt to show what emergency response might look like in the future. Heather Blanchard is co-founder of Crisis Commons, a group she calls a “volunteer technology community.” Her group commissioned the map Iseki worked on. …

For full text of the article, visit University Of Maryland Professor Helps Digitize Disaster Relief – News – WAMU 88.5 FM – American University Radio.

For more information about Crisis Commons, visit:  http://crisiscommons.org/

In Relief Work, Online Mapping Yet to Attain Full Potential

By Steve Lohr, NYT, March 28, 2011

…a new report says that the potential of online mapping to transform humanitarian services will not be realized without better coordination and communication between digital volunteers and veteran agencies in the relief field, like the United Nations and the Red Cross. The report, “Disaster Relief 2.0: The Future of Information Sharing in Humanitarian Emergencies,” is a collaboration of four groups — the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Vodafone Foundation and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. It will be presented Monday at an international aid and development meeting in Dubai.

For full text of the article, visit In Relief Work, Online Mapping Yet to Attain Full Potential – NYTimes.com.

%d bloggers like this: