Published on March 9, 2014
6 marzo 2014 - 14 2014 Workshop Conoscenza e tecnologie appropriate per la sostenibilità e la resilienza in urbanistica Knowledge and Appropriate Technologies for Sustainability and Resilience in Planning Funda Atun, Maria Pia Boni, Annapaola Canevari, Massimo Compagnoni, Luca Marescotti, Maria Mascione, Ouejdane Mejri, Scira Menoni, Floriana Pergalani
LAUREA MAGISTRALE DELLA SCUOLA DI ARCHITETTURA E SOCIETÀ Laboratorio organizzato da Luca Marescotti
201 Workshop Conoscenza e tecnologie appropriate per la sostenibilità urbanistica - Knowledge and Appropriate Technologies for Sustainability in Planning Cover New communication configuration during crisis management O. Mejri, Politecnico di Milano
Communication and crisis response The key obstacle to effective crisis response is the communication needed to: • Access relevant data or expertise • Piece together an accurate understandable picture of reality Information is “that which can be communicated and understood” information, before, during and after the crisis consists of a strategic resource in the contingency management process.
Who is engaged ? • During an emergency, heterogeneous categories of persons and organizations are engaged, as active or passive actors: 1. 1. Operative organizations: taking part in the contingency management operations (firemen, police, army, agencies in charge of environmental assessments, health indicators, etc.) 2. Scientists and experts 3. Decisional makers institutions: local, federal, national and international organisms 4. Media channels: international and national mainstreams, local media, internet blogs, etc. 5. Public: distinguished into the population directly affected and the more general public
Emergency management workflow analysis Information
Communication needs for Emergency response The information needed by stakeholders during a crisis emergency are related to • Direct consequences of a disaster, • Resources requests and availability, • Relief information (e.g., roads, bridges, airports and railways state) • The main features of the involved areas Furthermore, the communication aspects are crucial to be monitored among Communication status (active, interrupted, etc.) Information quality (contents, structures, etc.)
Information classification for Emergency response (I) 1) Operational and decisional information used and communicated among the organizations and actors involved in dealing with the emergency • Operational and decisional information may be produced in the operative processes and it’s useful for decisional ones in the decisional level and furthermore re-used into the operational processes
Operational and decisional information quality • A main feature over the quality of the information is tracking “Who is saying What and When” defining the information source and its timeliness. • In an emergency it is critical that every bit of quantitative or qualitative data be identified Human or digital source, Time of occurrence, Status, Location, Relationships to whatever it is referring to that already exists within the system.
Information classification for Emergency response (II) 2) Information that will be communicated to media channels and spread among the population The importance to have the media as part of the contingency management framework media are better equipped to transfer information to people in any case they will be there whenever and wherever a disaster occurs Multiple actors are in theory eligible to provide information to the media How to agree among the police, firemen, medical doctors, etc. about the opportunity to dispatch a unique information bulletin, particularly when risks are high and uncertainty large?
Interactions with mass-media • Instead of trying to avoid contacts with the media, that will be inevitably there, one should allocate time, resources and tools to accommodate the media within the entire process of emergency management • To be as transparent as possible in conveying news in a turbulent situation • Exploit media’s capability to dispatch information for the victims (like facilitating contacts among relatives and friends, disseminating information about health care, shelters, etc.).
Official information (I) • Information is usually considered official if it: has an institutional source is communicated by reliable media (i.e. mainstream televisions or radios that may be state or private according to the country) • As the ownership of information is considered as a powering function the institutions are highlyprotective about this authority • Till some years ago the official information was only disrupted by the presence of geographically localised “rumors” and the diffusion of inaccurate or misleading disaster communication
Official information (II) • The public and state information owned and diffused by the public institutions are considered as the official “version” by the crisis management stakeholders (i.e. organisations, decision-makers and the more general population) • This information is usually used in order to prioritize the help actions and to allocate the needed resources by the decisional level, defining in point of fact the whole workflow of disaster management and recover • The official information is, as a rule, perceived as the trustworthy information by the population which utilize it to take their personal or communitarian decisions
New configuration of Information providers • Information providers 1. Traditional media 2. New media information providers • New media sources compete with traditional official sources of information in the aftermath of disasters, while reversing the communication process from top-down to bottom-up.
A new configuration • A new configuration of everyday’s life, as well as crisis situations, was reshaped by the introduction of technology and new communication tools “we cannot deal with disasters without taking into account the new configuration of people communication and use of technology. The entire process has to be re-considered in order to manage this new way of life” – Lagadec The configuration of the possession of information is transformed
New ICT configuration: Cloud Computing • Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing and storage capacity as a service to a heterogeneous community of endrecipients. • The name comes from the use of clouds as an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it contains in system diagrams. • Cloud computing entrusts services with a user's data, software and computation over a network. It has considerable overlap with software as a service (SaaS).
Web 2.0 • Web 2.0 includes search engines, social media and the global hypermedia public sphere • Offers through the different protocols and formats (e.g., http, HTML, XML, RDF, etc.) the possibility to represent data and to guarantee the interoperability among it • Permits to integrate the interpersonal communication technologies such as mails, forum, blogs, instant messaging, social networks, etc.
Web 2.0 for crisis management Online public tools and infrastructures permitted in the last years to memorize, share and access crisis information • Video-sharing websites: the most famous all over the world is YouTube.com. Freely subscribed users of YouTube can upload, view and share user-generated video content • Image-sharing websites: Flickr is the major image hosting website (51 million registered members and 80 million unique visitors and hosting more than 6 billion images in 2011) that offers to its freely subscribed users to share and embed personal photographs • Social networking websites: Facebook is the most popular social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. The site is free and has over 1 billion active users, more than half of them using the website on a mobile device • Microblogging websites: Twitter is the worldwide most popular microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets"
Unofficial VS Official Information • In this new scenario, the official information is in “conflict” with unofficial information that is produced by private citizens or NGO’s, made visible and available to everyone, all over the world, in few seconds, through the net and the social networks. A revolution in terms of disaster information providing, sharing and dispatching
Unofficial information properties 1. The source of the information may be considered private (i.e. most of it is produced by single citizens) 2. The access to the information is made public by the use of public media-sharing websites and social network platforms 3. The diffusion of the information follows both peer-to-peer and broadcasting paradigms depending on the technological tool it employs reaching not only the private population but also the institutions and the different stakeholders of the crisis management process 4. The sharing information activities over the net are immediate and follow a rather real-time model 5. The population (i.e. victims of the disaster and more general population) elevated focus on the disaster, especially the highly damaging ones and during the few hours following it, create a huge increasing demand of information that is replied by the production of a massive quantity of content-related information about crisis
Participatory journalism • • During crisis situations, the citizens involved in a disaster (e.g. floods, tsunamis, fires, explosions, earthquakes, etc.) are increasingly witnessing what they are watching to by reporting breaking news, often more quickly than traditional media reporters. The disaster information sent from the field may consist of a simple text alert, pictures or videos. Example: during the last flood events in the city of Genoa in November 2011, for the first twelve hours, the unique source of information about the evolution of the situation on the field was the Youreporter website.
Participatory journalism • The entire world had also the possibility to watch the same videos of the devastating 2011 Great Japanese earthquake and tsunami that were produced by single private citizens before receiving any professional media images.
Participatory journalism • The unofficial information as described above is not certified and may lead to the diffusion of inaccurate description of the situation if not analyzed in the right way by for example contextualizing it in time and space. • Some examples of “old” information which is reloaded or manipulated demonstrated that the control and the certification of the contents are the first steps in order to use this information in public and traditional media. • The use of this information should also be traduced in useful information for the emergency managers
Information fusion 1. Official communications are very present in the net, shared as texts, images and videos extracted from TV and radio channels diffusions (e.g. earthquake magnitude and epicentre, radioactivity presence, number of official losses and injuries, etc.). 2. Traditional media diffuse amateur videos and pictures present in the media-sharing or in citizen journalism websites - Rolling news TV channels get the possibility to update their news constantly by the reception of an extended potential number of on the groundreporters videos.
Information, IT and ICT • A simple definition of Information : “that which can be communicated and understood” • We can then put together a basic definition of IT as: “Information Technology is the use of information in order to meet human need or purpose”. • The definition of ICT therefore became: “the use of information in order to meet human need or purpose including reference to the use of contemporary devices such as the Internet”.
Not only information • ICT can be used effectively to address diverse issues in the immediate post-disaster period as demonstrated by the following non-exhaustive list of examples: • SAHANA disaster management system in the aftermath of the Indian ocean tsunami in 2004 and Pakistani earthquake in 2005 , • UNOSAT ’s role in disaster response during the 2004 Indian ocean tsunami, • USHAHIDI ’s platform permitting the construction of near real time up-to-dated crisis map available to the humanitarian community for Haiti and Chile earthquakes in 2010, • GOOGLE Person Finder is a web application that allows individuals to post and search for the status of relatives or friends affected by a disaster developed for Haiti’s earthquake.
ICT for Emergency Management samples • • Sahana, a free and open source software (FOSS)-based system developed by Lanka Software Foundation, is a suite of web-based applications that provides solutions to the problems arising in a post-disaster situation.
ICT for Emergency Management samples • The United Nations Institute for Training and Research Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) provides the international community and developing countries with enhanced access to satellite imagery and GIS services.
ICT for Emergency Management samples • UNOSAT: a satellite-derived estimation of the number of civilians leaving the Chadian capital of N’Djamena and heading towards the Cameroonian border
ICT for Emergency Management samples • UNOSAT: In the case of January’s earthquake in Haiti, an SMS message was received at 23:20, Geneva time, on January 12, only minutes after the quake. Immediately, UNOSAT began organizing and downloading satellite images for analysis, to create the very first maps used by relief workers in Haiti.
ICT for Emergency Management samples • The Ushahidi Platform is a free and open source project combining crisis information from citizen-generated reports, media and NGOs and mashing that data up with geographical mapping tools. It uses mobile phones as a primary means of both sending crisis incidents and receiving updates
• ICT for Emergency Management samples The people located in Haiti, can report emergency info and location by texting 4636. • A web interface that allows Creole speaking "dispatchers" -from anywhere on the Internet -- to take the SMS messages off the queue to organize and tag them. • The system tracks information in the several categories and subcategories including: emergencies, threats, responder activities, news about individuals, and the location of resources.
ICT for Emergency Management samples • The Ushahidi Platform Ushahidi, is a non-profit technology company voted by MIT’s Technology Review as one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world alongside Facebook, Google and Twitter.
Crowdmapping : lessons learned in Haiti • “Information fragmentation” as the humanitarian community calls it, was one of the core information management challenges that the humanitarian community faced in Haiti: “the division of data resources and analysis into silos that are difficult to aggregate, fuse, or otherwise reintegrate into composite pictures.” Patrick Meier (Ushahidi)
Pointillism • Pointillism is a technique in which “small, distinct dots of pure color are applied in patterns to form an image.” • Think of these dots as data points drawn from diverse pallets but combined to depict an appealing and consistent whole.
• ICT for Emergency Management samples Google Person Finder is a web application that with an API based on the PFIF open standard which lets press agencies, non-governmental agencies and others to contribute to the database and receive updates. In addition, websites can choose to embed Google Person Finder as a gadget on their own pages
Centralized information : http://www.google.co.jp/intl/en/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html
Resistance to ICT • The technologies make a major difference in the speed, interactive exchange and analytical capacity for the organizations participating in the disaster response and recovery system • BUT • Actually, each category of actors has its own relationship and interpretation of the IT, depending on several factors. As in organization management the technology makingsense process has to be explored also in crisis management, since such interpretations of technology critically influence the way people act around IT .
Technological frames : interpretation of information technology by stakeholders • If the IT interpretations are significantly divergent from a category of actors to another, emergency management failures may be encountered. • While organizational researchers has examined the role of collective cognitive models in organizational action focusing on technological aspects, they did it for normal situations not considering crisis management situations. • Why people will adopt IT or not, which technology will be chosen and how it will change the disaster organization actions?
Technological frames properties • Nature of technology: people's images of the technology and their understanding of its capabilities and functionality. • The technology strategy: people's views of why this technology is offered to them. It includes their understanding of the motivation or vision behind the adoption decision. • The technology-in-Use: people's understanding of how the technology will be used and the likely or actual conditions and consequences associated with such use. • The interpretations of technology are central to understanding technological development, use, and change in contingency management processes.
User-centred design approach • Designing with a user-centred approach requires the involvement of the user from the very beginning, as it is fundamental to understand the reality of peoples actions, i.e. what, how, when, and why actions are performed. • A user-centred design approach often works by trying to answer typical questions like who are the users, which are the user tasks and goals, what information do the users need and so on.
Earthquake Emilia , Italy – May 2012
Earthquake Emilia , Italy – May 2012
New technologies, “new” behaviors ?
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