Archive for the ‘Natural Disaster’ Category

Digital Humanitarian : Towards a Code of Conduct: Guidelines for the Use of SMS in Natural Disasters

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Agile Disaster Response strategy day to prepare your company and your services to discuss the guidelines and your preparedness for Natural Disasters

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Around the globe right now there is a systems thinking approach taking place not just for Telecommunications and Emergency Services providers, the NGO’s and Aid Relief are at the driving edge and have resulted in reluctant innovation with SMS platforms.

How can Agile Analysis + System Thinking assist in these future reluctant innovations?

According to the BBC report on SMS Code of Conduct

A bit of thinking ahead of time could result in saving thousands of lives in the future

Agile Achievement suggest that you prepare for your natural disaster strategy review by downloading and review the Code of Conduct: Guidelines for the Use of SMS in Natural Disasters from GSMA

http://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/towards-a-code-of-conduct-guidelines-for-the-use-of-sms-in-natural-disasters

There are a number of active companies involved in the advancement of thinking and systems and approaches to responses to natural disasters and the role that technology can play to keep people linked during the crisis, located for medical treatment and delivery of emergency aid.

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Mapping is the direction that seems to be the most logical of directions with some of the newest innovations are taking place with Ericsson connected city  http://www.ericsson.com/campaign/connectedcity/#/startPage/

As we know with Power comes great Responsibility as we recently have seen in London with the privacy challenges around the capture and use of”BIG DATA” gathered. The City of London removed the technology by http://www.presenceorb.com/ with the removal of mobile phone recycle bins as they were capturing GEO Locations of smart phones users walking by and extrapolating information.  http://qz.com/112873/this-recycling-bin-is-following-you/

Each phone uses a unique address, called a MAC address, when it connects to WiFi device. By recording the address, it is then possible to track when a   phone reconnects. The technology can track speed and locations, potentially allowing personalised advertising that even adapts according to changing   behaviour.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/10237811/Bins-that-track-mobiles-banned-by-City-of-London-Corporation.html

So what exactly is the SMS Platform role in a Natural Disaster and for the Digital Humanitarian especially in the area of under served markets

Lets look at the role of SMS in a disaster cycle

SMS in Disaster Cycle

Insights from Haiti sourced from Issue 48 Humanitarian Practice Network

The Haiti earthquake: breaking new ground in the humanitarian information landscape

by Dennis King, US Department of State, Humanitarian Information Unit

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http://www.odihpn.org/humanitarian-exchange-magazine/issue-48/the-haiti-earthquake-breaking-new-ground-in-the-humanitarian-information-landscape

One of the contributors to the Towards a Code of Conduct: Guidelines for the Use of SMS in Natural Disasters Souktel have a number of successful initiatives with the SMS link for jobs to aid here is a link to one of their case studies for aid in Palestine and keeping isolated women in Iraq connected.

http://www.souktel.org/aidlink-crisis-response/416-gaza-aid-delivery-by-sms-looking-back-one-year-later.html

http://www.souktel.org/aidlink-democracygovernance/115-iraqi-womens-groups-use-sms-alerts-and-surveys-to-strengthen-communities-promote-peace.html

One of the major suppliers in this space  is Frontline SMS read here on there medic service http://medic.frontlinesms.com/

FrontlineSMS was one of the first platforms to help harness the power of mobile technology for social change. Having seen how SMS was widely used in sub-saharan Africa in 2004, Founder Ken Banks built and launched the first prototype of FrontlineSMS in 2005. Our first official user was the Kubatana Trust, in Zimbabwe. Interest in the platform grew rapidly, and we created the kiwanja Foundation, now the Social Impact Foundation, to house our work. In 2008, FrontlineSMS became open-source and began to see focussed sector-specific and awarded a Silicon Valley Tech Award . In 2013 they were also named the #1 Tech NGO in the world by the Global Journal.

Another player in this space is http://www.ushahidi.com/

Ushahidi”, which means “testimony” in Swahili, was a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Since then, the name “Ushahidi” has come to represent the people behind the “Ushahidi Platform”. Our roots are in the collaboration of Kenyan citizen journalists during a time of crisis. The original website was used to map incidents of violence and peace efforts throughout the country based on reports submitted via the web and mobile phones. This website had 45,000 users in Kenya, and was the catalyst for us realizing there was a need for a platform based on it, which could be used by others around the world. Since early 2008  they have grown from an ad hoc group of volunteers to a focused organization. The current team is comprised of individuals with a wide span of experience ranging from human rights work to software development. We have also built a strong team of volunteer developers primarily in Africa, but also Europe, South America and the U.S.

A recent BBC report looks at all angles of the digital humanitarian debate

Digital humanitarians are increasingly entering a crowded arena, and it has been
suggested that these well-meaning volunteers, sometimes monitoring and sending
texts or tweets for example, complicate the work of established emergency and
relief agencies.

For more on this listen to Click BBC report on SMS Code of Conduct http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p01n9gmd/Click_SMS_Code_of_Conduct/

Best Practices around Social Media for Disaster Cycle

Social Media in Disaster Cycle

http://www.unapcict.org/ecohub/best-practices-the-use-of-social-media-throughout-emergency-disaster-relief-1

Four best practices were established: plan for social media use before a disaster occurs, utilize popular and relevant social media tools, localize disasters in social media use, and utilize mapping efforts.

Agile Disaster Response strategy day to prepare your company and your services to discuss the guidelines and your preparedness for Natural Disasters email info@agileachievement.com to facilitate your workshops and Agile consulting.

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