Ignite Talk Proposal to ICCM 2012

Name of Organization: ITRI/GeoThings

Country of Residence: Taiwan

Title: How ICT coordinates humanitarian assistance and disaster relief

Abstract of Talk:

In post disaster management, various humanitarian task forces were there and coordination is certainly one the major issues we have to deal. In this ignite talk, we would like to introduce an ICT solution based on Ushahidi, Sahana, Open Street Map, and Open GeoSMS for not only the front-line supporting volunteers/workers but also the administrators in headquarter. With those features that we are going to mention, the front-line supporting teams can easily report the latest status, acquire necessary resources, request the latest satellite image, receive the dispatched task from headquarter, and do the group chat and location exchange in one simple mobile client. Those features can work with SMS enabled environment, that means, if the data network is not easy to access, this tool can still provide its function and able to deliver essential information for further coordinations.

With this mobile client talking to back-end services, we will also propose  a simplified interface of server that allows the administrators can quickly view the status map, receive resource request, and dispatch the resource and task in an integrated UI.

The following features will be included in this talk and have been leveraged by TzuChi (http://www.tzuchi.org/) as experimental trial run in several humanitarian supporting events.

1. Incident Report (to Ushahidi)

2. Task Inbox (dispatched by Sahana, shows on Open Street Map)

3. Resource Request (to Sahana or private database)

4. Satellite Image Request (to Formosat-II)

5. Team Communication (via Open GeoSMS)

New technology should be able to help, not to annoying people with a high learning curve. Our idea is to build an easy-to-use ICT collaboration system for front-line volunteers/works and the administrators in headquarter. Thus, we integrated Ushahidi as open data/information platform, Sahana as resource allocation and task dispatching system, Open Street Map as offline map resource to bring up the map-view based information, and Open GeoSMS as a message format to exchange location information via SMS. Sounds complicated? It’s quite easy if we make only the “essential features” accessible to users and hide rest of the details. This is an idea and a project that we would like to share and get feedbacks in this ignite talk 🙂