Building a civic engagement model for large-scale disaster relief emergencies
Faced a large-scale disaster, people have now at their disposal new and valuable technology tools, which allow them to support humanitarian organizations and aid agencies working at local level. Previous disasters as the 2010 Haiti and Chile earthquakes, the Japan earthquake and tsunami, the Libyan crisis and the Colombia floods in 2011, the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the Nepal earthquake in 2015, and most recently, the Ecuador earthquake, have shown us the insightful and lifesaving contribution of digital volunteers in providing aid to the affected communities.
During the earthquake that struck coastal Ecuador a couple of months ago, some Ecuadorian citizens founded the “Ayuda Ecuador” project. In its first hours of activity, the initiative was already getting support from foreigner citizens who had faced similar situations. From Kenya, Nepal, Chile, Haiti, Canada, France, Colombia, among others, these so called ‘digital citizens’ were using technology to put their skills at the service of the affected communities. Amongst the initiatives supporting the project were Ushahidi, StandByTaskForce, Digital Humanitarian Network, OpenStreetMap and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team HOT.
Although many organizations exist under a same premise, six years later there’s still a void to fill. There is missing one “Toolkit” encompassing all the available information needed to explain common citizens, media companies and all those responsible for risk management and humanitarian aid how to help in emergency and disaster relief situations.
For this event, the project will develop a “Toolkit” comprised of a set of guidelines, multimedia content and other technology tools, aimed at helping not only common citizens on how to volunteer, but also opinion makers on how to produce insightful communications and aid agencies & governments on how to turn these efforts into positive outcomes, helpful in the decision-making, monitoring and development processes.
- Emergency response guide
- Disaster coordination guide
- Technical guide
- Volunteer management guide
- Mass media guide
- Government and authorities guide
- Other guides
During LABICCO, which will be held in Colombia from October 9th to 23rd, 2016, a 10-element group alongside a Virtual Support Team will work hard to develop the toolkit.
This project is essentially for people living in vulnerable countries, vulnerable, with a higher risk of facing natural disaster, mainly related to climate change issues, such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, and fires.
De salientar também os desastres de origem humana, como migrações forçadas, acidentes industriais ou situações de conflitos.
The guidelines will be available for consultation and download in a webpage. They will encompass guiding texts, how-to guidelines, multimedia and support tools. Besides the general guidelines, there will be also available information for media companies and journalists aimed at providing some guidance on how to inform people during a disaster crisis and how their support can actually help saving lives. Finally, a guide to governments and international organizations explaining the extent of the project, its mission, vision and values, and how it can be helpful to strengthen and capacitate local communities for future emergencies.
The guidelines will be applied during emergency simulacrums in different countries aimed at identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the project and how to improve it.
All the available material will be under a Creative Commons license to allow its reproduction, adaptation and diffusion in different contexts.
There is an urgent need to engage communities in a more civic response to large-scale disasters. People need to feel duly ‘equipped’ with information and tools to support their active participation not as potential victims but as active members of a community at risk. Besides the general population, there is also some lack of communication between different actors such as intergovernmental agencies, NGOs, governments, media companies, and also between them and the onsite and online volunteers.
- “Tecnología ciudadana frente al drama del terremoto en Ecuador” en http://www.elespanol.com/ciencia/tecnologia/20160420/118738257_0.html
- “Mapeo de zonas afectadas avanza” http://www.eltiempo.com.ec/noticias-cuenca/181925-mapeo-de-zonas-afectadas-avanza/
- Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) https://hotosm.org/
- Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) http://digitalhumanitarians.com/
- “How Crisis Mapping Saved Lives in Haiti” http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2012/07/02/crisis-mapping-haiti/
- “Estimating Disaster Impact with contextual Pre and Post Disaster Datasets” http://blog.veritythink.com/post/104948097769/estimating-disaster-impact-with-contextual-pre-and
- “The [unexpected] Impact of the Libya Crisis Map and the Standby Volunteer Task Force” https://www.ushahidi.com/blog/2012/01/09/the-unexpected-impact-of-the-libya-crisis-map-and-the-standby-volunteer-task-force
- “Using the New Ushahidi Platform to Crisis Map Libya” https://www.ushahidi.com/blog/2011/03/06/using-the-new-ushahidi-platform-to-crisis-map-libya
- Digital Humanitarians http://www.digital-humanitarians.com/
- Ushahidi https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ushahidi
- Inundaciones Informe de situación No. 32 http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Informe_completo_53.pdf
- El papel de la ONU más allá de las noticias http://blog.es.idealist.org/tag/ushahidi/