Digital humanitarian response

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How can we build back better after a crisis?

  • We want our data to map reality.
  • Most organizations can't handle massive influx of new volunteers.
  • Volunteers need to be nurtured and be told that they are appreciated.
  • Crisis response doesn't happen in a political vacuum.
  • There are ethical concerns that come up when you are tracking personal data.

What are recipes for crisis response that people have been a part of?

  • People who live in a location are the first responders.

Is there a data flow between first responders and people who come next?

  • There aren't good standards for different organization to coordinate their responses.
  • There are different phases in a crisis with different goals and organizations.
  • Circumstances are very different for each crisis.
  • Effectiveness of people's contributions very greatly, often depending on their goals.

Is remote help really effective?

  • You need to have a structure for onboarding to capture crowds of volunteers.

Do you have your problems broken down into microtasks for individual to tackle?

  • People often recreate the wheel and try to build new apps for each crisis.

How does your work span across multiple crises? Can you harness interest to build capacity?

How to build local capacity that can drive response?

  • Humanitarian Exchange Language provides common column headers.
  • Kathmandu Living Labs was a local group founded by the World Bank.
  • Public Labs does environmental justice data work.
  • Crisis Cleanup is a data clearinghouse to share knowledge between orgs.
  • Lots of activist practices can help with resilience.
  • NERT is a good local org working to get people prepared for a disaster in SF.

Possible focus areas:

  • Microtasking / Bug Fixing
  • How do you make your tool/organization resilient (or even useful) is a crisis?
  • Prep work: who will benefit from your data, and how do you get it to them?
  • Explore and build the ecosystem map (scenario mapping)
  • Communications plans to public
  • Handbook sprint?

Some images