The crowd is always there…and it is ready to help! Why wait for an emergency to happen?
An Online Community for Live Crisis Mapping: The Standby Volunteer Task Force Launched at the International Crisis Mappers Conference in October 2010 Over 150 skilled volunteers with dedicated experience in online Crisis Mappingfrom 17 different countries Only working with open, non-proprietary data Specific protocols for organizations seeking to activate the online volunteer community Specific criteria for the Task Force to decide whether or not to accept a request Decentralized horizontal network of volunteers acting on the base of a code of conduct
What is Crisis Mapping? Crisis Mapping is composed four key components: Information collection Visualization Analysis Response
1. Information collection Media Monitoring Team -Monitors online media for relevant reports. SMS Team -Monitors incoming SMS from already existing feed. Verification Team – Triangulates reports from the Media and SMS Teams
2. Visualization Translation Team – Translates Media and SMS reports from/to English. Geo-Location Team – Finds GPS coordinates for Media and SMS report. Report Team – Categorize and approve reports after they have been translated and geo-located Technology Team – Responsible for all technical tasks
3. Analisys Analysis Team -Provides summary reports based on the incoming data Analysis Mapping Team – will provide PDF maps, printable maps and GIS maps for the teams in the field
4. Response Humanitarian Team – Comprises existing professional humanitarians who liaise between the Task Force and humanitarian organizations.
OCHA Colombia Simulation On November 2010 UNOCHA (United Nation’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) Colombia requested the participation of the Standby Task Force in the earthquake simulation exercise in order to test the ability of the crisis mapping volunteer network to participate and contribute to the emergency operations.
CuerpoOficial de Bomberos de Bogotá (Bogotá Fire Department) –Urban Search and Rescue Operations (USAR) UNOCHA Colombia – United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Genève/INSARAG – International Search and Rescue Advisory Group UNDAC – United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination OSOCC – On-Site Operations Coordination Center, where UNDAC coordinates every USAR tasks UNETE – United Nations Emergency Team consisting of UN agencies, ICRC and other humanitarian actors Bogota Mayor and national governmental bodies Red Salvavidas – www.redsalvavidas.org InSTEDD – www.instedd.org
45 volunteers participated in the simulation 200 reports were geo-located, translated and categorized over the course of 2 days 3 Situation Reports were created for UNETE Several Maps for rescue teams were created under the request of the teams in the field
“For me, as an SBTF Member, it was a cool experience to test the coordination abilities of a highly professional SBTF team, but as a UNOCHA Information Officer, it was magical to experience the support for humanitarian workers by committed volunteers. I am seeing all this like a big step forward on building better and more coordinated and structured ways. - Luis Hernando Aguilar – Information Management Officer, UNOCHA Colombia
Why the Standby Task Force? People will use any available channel of communication to share and communicate their situation during crisis. The online crisis mapping volunteer community has an unique opportunity to become a facilitator in this process that can help to turn these conversations into data that are actionable for the humanitarian responders, both local and international. The volunteer crisis mapping community can respond to the demand of the traditional humanitarian responders who seek the ways to more effectively incorporate the community generated data into their standard operating procedures. The volunteer crisis mapping community can respond to the demand of the traditional humanitarian responders who seek the ways to more effectively incorporate the community generated data into their standard operating procedures.
Online Communities for Live Crisis Mapping like the Standby Volunteers Task Force CAN make the difference in the humanitarian landscape to bring to more effective and accountable communication with crisis affected communities in disaster response.
The question is not whether the community generated communication is useful or not, the question is HOW to make it useful.
The answer? STANDBY VOLUNTEER TASK FORCE To become a member apply at http://blog.standbytaskforce.com or contact email@example.com