Published on August 30, 2012
Open Humanitarian InitiativeAugust 2012
Disaster response continues to be rated as “poor” with the lack ofinformation flow cited as one of the main reasons Inter Agency RTE* of the Response Major Reasons Cited by RTE “The difficulties encountered in “The response to the Haiti Earthquake in establishing an appropriate 2010 was a missed opportunity to system for collecting and translate the quick setting up of cluster analyzing data in order to provide coordination and the availability of decision‐makers with information substantial resources into timely results” in a timely manner” were cited as one of the main reasons of poor Earthquake in Haiti response Real Time Evaluation report found that “the overall results “The information flow was massive are considered to be both but with limited strategic usage (i.e. ‘scattered’ and ‘patchy’” decision making and prioritization)” Floods in Pakistan “More consistent methods for “Nearly all agencies and organizations and integration of assessments were unable to mobilize the appropriate would have minimized the capacity to respond to the Darfur crisis” inattention to cross-sectoral issues, in particular protection and gender” Disaster in Darfur*RTE = Real Time Evaluation Report Having access to the right information seems to be one of the main factors that determines the difference between life and death 2
A number of issues have made an effective information managementsolution both an important opportunity and a massive undertaking High Level Issues Granular Issues• Lack of information sharing between humanitarian organizations • Lack of process standardization on how humanitarian data is• Lack of information management capacity Process represented during data exchange both within local and international humanitarian organizations as well as within governments and first responders in • Lack of access to the most current disaster prone countries. information required by responders Technology to make fully informed decisions • Lack of a common platform for securely sharing humanitarian data These Issues are Costly• Increase in the amount of time it takes to collect • Lack of capacity to share, manage, analyze and disseminate and analyze data resulting in reduced Organization humanitarian data both at the information availability which impacts the national and international level responders’ ability to do their job effectively• Increase costs to emergency response agencies due to multiple data collection iterations • Lack of willingness to share humanitarian information• Lack of data leads to an increase in operational Governance costs such as transportation and distribution costs 3
In order to address these issues, a number of people from differentorganizations came together to focus on two key objectives Open Humanitarian Initiative STREAM1 - TECHNOLOGY STREAM2 - CAPACITY BUILDING Main Objective: Main Objective: • Improve information sharing between • Improve information management capacity both humanitarian organizations within local and international humanitarian organizations as well as within governments and first responders in disaster prone countries 4
The Open Humanitarian Initiative is divided into 6 areas to provide acomplete information management solution Project Deliverables Impact 1 • Interoperability: Data standards will be • Governments, NGOs and humanitarianSTREAM1 - TECHNOLOGY defined to ensure consistent organizations will be able to move and terminology and to enable data sharing share information between different technical solutions 2 • Data Sharing Platform: A data sharing • Ensures data can be shared remotely platform will combine, store and share between organizations and can be humanitarian response data using the accessed from any location enabling data standards schemas defined better decision making 3 • Visualization: An interface will be • Organizations and responders will be able created where data can be processed, to visualize the required data in the ideal analyzed and displayed in different format formats such as graphs, tables, charts, dashboards, maps etc… 4 • Capacity Building: Local disaster • People trained in using information management authorities as well as management tools, such as the OHI humanitarian organization staff will be platform, leading to better crisisSTREAM2 - CAPACITY trained in the use of information information management management tools, such as the OHI platform BUILDING 5 • Digital Volunteers: Local and global • Culture of information management digital volunteer communities will be established, leading to an increase in created, fostered and trained in the use responder capacity and data availability of information management tools 6 • Research and Innovation: A culture of • Increase in the quality of the analysis research and innovation established performed resulting in increased OHI tool within the information management effectiveness field in disaster prone regions 5
Unique initiative built around collaboration and innovation With subset of potential partners, we.. • Leverage existing investments Don’t reinvent • Scale-out best practices the wheel • Inter-operate with existing solutions • Not do yet-another set of pilots that don’t go anywhere • Public-private partnership at it’s fullest extend Utilize Broad • Work with private sector, academic community, UN agencies and digital volunteer groups Community • Work closely with governments in disaster prone countries • Flexible funding model Are Flexible • Simple, yet effective governance model • Managed through agile project management methodology 6
Bringing together a broad set of potential partners is a key success factor Subset of potential partners Role within OHI Global Technology Companies • Support with the design and implementation of the data platform, visualization and interoperability • Provide the technology such as hosting services and software • Provide guidance and in-kind development support Academic Institutions • Support with the research and innovation approach • Help with training and learning material • Provide guidance and in-kind support Humanitarian Institutions • Support with the overall project • Provide guidance and leadership • Provide in-kind support 7
High Level Architecture Diagram Existing Platforms Visualization GUI SQL Azure ArcGIS Other Custom OCHA 3W IFRC - DMIS Reporting Online Visualizations Etc … Data Sharing HXL Platform KML/RSS SQL Azure Send and receive Data in HXL format (Pub/Sub) Fusion Tables Web Based, Open, server-to-server publish/subscribe protocol FreeBase 8
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