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Sahana brief 042210_kolkata_narrated

Sahana brief 042210_kolkata_narrated



Current Sahana Software Foundation Brief prepared for Dept of Information Technology, Govt of West Bengal, 1-day seminar - "Free Software Applications in Society & Governance" on 24th April 2010 at ...

Current Sahana Software Foundation Brief prepared for Dept of Information Technology, Govt of West Bengal, 1-day seminar - "Free Software Applications in Society & Governance" on 24th April 2010 at Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

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  • “No innovation matters more than that which saves lives” said the Secretary of National Defense for the Philippines, on the use of Sahana deployed in the aftermath of disastrous mudslides in his country in 2005. At the Sahana Software Foundation, we strive to live up to that statement every day. Our goal is to provide an open source platform that is committed to open standards for data exchange between different applications, to give emergency managers, disaster response professionals and the communities affected by disasters access to the tools and information that they need to better respond to disasters.
  • Sahana is free and open source disaster management software. What that means is that it is free to download, free to use however you wish – there are no license fees - and being open source, it can be easily customized by anyone to serve the needs of any jurisdiction, organization or community. There are many benefits to the use of open source software, which is increasingly recognized for its low barriers to entry and its longevity. The risks and costs are low and the benefits are plentiful. Sahana is about the application of thoseprinciples to disaster management software, and our primary goal is to help victims.
  • The historic trigger for Sahana was the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 that left almost a quarter of a million dead, millions homeless and jobless, and several countries devastated structurally, economically and psychologically.
  • Technology can address many of the data management challenges and requirements by providing solutions that are scalable, efficient, automatic and by providing live data and situational awareness to both emergency managers and the community.
  • Following the tsunami, Sahana was created by the open source community in Sri Lanka - for use by the Centre for National Operations, which was responsible for coordinating the country’s relief and recovery efforts.
  • These modules proved valuable in Sri Lanka, and since its use there after the tsunami, Sahana has grown in its capabilities and been rewritten more than once to make it more capable of addressing the needs and filling the gaps in the disaster information toolkit.Today, Sahana’s capabilities are mature and tested in dozens of deployments following major disasters around the world.
  • Sahana’s disaster victim registry was adapted to match the official paper forms and business processes used by the City for the intake of individuals and families and even pets at City shelters. This is one of the strengths of Sahana as its framework is designed to make it easy to make such modifications.
  • Sahana is supported by a global voluntary community of experts in emergency management and open source software developers; our members represent academic institutions, state and local government, international NGOs, emergency management consultants, private sector IT companies, public health experts, and students.
  • Sahana projects are governed by the Sahana Software Foundation, which was established as a non-profit organization in 2009. The mission of the Sahana Software Foundation is to develop and promote free and open source software for disaster management and open standards for data exchange.
  • Recent advancements in Sahana’s GIS, Situational Awareness, and Data Collection Capabilities have been supported by the Sahana Software Foundation’s participation in a series of field experiments as well as recent our deployments in response to the Haiti and Chile earthquakes, ongoing development work for the City of New York and the Bethesda Hospitals Emergency Preparedness Partnership.
  • We have used a $400 netbook as our server as a proof of concept of how easy it is to deploy Sahana. While this netbook server could obviously not withstand dozens of simultaneous requests, it was more than capable of supporting about a half-dozen concurrent users that were entering mostly textual data. For GIS, as Sahana utilizes external map servers to serve up tiles, data layers and imagery, and those requests are placed by the client PCs accessing Sahana and not on the Sahana server itself, there are minimal processing requirements placed on the server hardware.
  • One of the things we wanted to demonstrate was how we could localize Sahana to be US NIMS and ICS compliant – an important requirement for deployments by state and local jurisdictions in the United States. To achieve this, for example, in the organization registry, we defined the services that organizations provided as Emergency Support Functions under the National Response Framework.
  • Descriptions of experiments can be tracked as projects and individuals working on those experiments were assigned to them in Sahana using the Volunteer Management System, providing a detailed description and roster of all participants. We also experimented with using ICS and NIMS position titles, and a future experiment will have Sahana produce ICS form 214 to provide an activity log of a unit over a defined operational period, a task that normally could take valuable time away from a first responder during the life saving phase of emergency response activities.
  • But the focus of our development has been on integrating disaster data sources into Sahana’s geospatial situational awareness module. Using open standards for data exchange, Sahana is able to pull in imagery and geo-referenced data from a number of local and internet accessible sources to add value and intelligence to the disaster data collected by Sahana’s own libraries of organizations, shelters, resources and events. Sahana also publishes its own data in multiple open standards such as GeoRSS and KML.
  • One of our first experiments demonstrated our ability to overlay data collected by Sahana (the orange dots), with data from InSTEDD’sgeochat service via a GeoRSS feed (the red diamonds) on top of a map of the local area provided by a locally accessible Open Street Maps Server. By accessing only local network sources of mapping data and map layers, we demonstrated the ability to provide intelligence while disconnected from the internet. Sahana uses OpenLayers – an open source mapping solution – to accomplish this.
  • We collected and entered data into Sahana utilizing OLPCs or One Laptop Per Child (also called XO PCs), connected to the Sahana server via the OLPC’s integrated mesh data networking capabilities.
  • Sahana is also able to utilize a locally available Google Earth Fusion Server to provide background imagery and road data. This was accomplished just days after Google Earth’s API was made public.
  • Sahana isalso able to use UAV imagery as a base layer for our maps – even this poorly mosaiced and poor geo-referenced example – future efforts will likely be more successful but again, this was an important proof of concept.
  • For remote data collection, we developed an application for the Google Android phone that takes advantage of the Android’s built in GPS. It allows the user to send in a report to Sahana that has the sender’s GPS coordinates embedded in the message. This becomes a powerful tool for crowd sourcing and collecting disaster data directly into Sahana’s situation map during disaster events. We have plans to develop similar applications for the iPhone, Blackberry, PalmPre and other mobile platforms as well as any java-capable web-enabled standard cellphone. Other planned enhancements include the ability for users to view all Sahana data directly on their smart phone using the native mapping applications on their phone.
  • We plotted both data from Sahana’s libraries – such as the organization registry, with data points sent into Sahana by SMS message from Android phones. We later added the ability to parse those reports and code them according to symbology from the US Department of Homeland Security’s FGDC working group – another part of the NIMS localization of Sahana.
  • The developer of the Android application from Trinity College’s HFOSS project attended the Random Hacks of Kindness event in Mountain View, California last November. He sent us back a report from there.
  • Finally, one of Sahana’s remote support team downloaded the Android application and within 5 minutes had sent us a report of his whereabouts in the world.
  • We were able to locate him pretty quickly.
  • Right down to his house. This demonstrated how quickly we could deploy a data collection tool and begin to use it to gather disaster information.
  • We utilized several of these Android phones, as well as standard cellphones to send structured and geo-referenced SMS messages back to the Sahana server as part of an exercise in providing situational awareness.
  • Finally, we developed a live KML feed from Sahana that could be viewed in Google Earth, providing data using an open standard in a format that could be used by any system able to read KML.
  • Immediately following the news of the massive earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, the Sahana community responded with a new model for our response to disasters.Rather than waiting for a “customer” to come along to request to use Sahana, we immediately self-hosted an instance of Sahana and began populating it with data using our global volunteer community.
  • We focused on the area where Sahana is most valuable – is filling the gaps in the information needs of humanitarian agencies.This included a four phase response that developed according to the needs of the relief effort, and included providing an organization registry, a request management system, and a hospital management system, as well as the ability to map a lot of information to provide a common operational picture and situational awareness to responders.
  • Within the first 48 hours of the earthquake, governments and relief agencies were asking who was working in Haiti when the earthquake struck. This came from an understanding that those humanitarian organizations that already had resources within Haiti would most likely be able to assist first responders during the immediate life-saving phase of the relief operations.So we first stood up our organization registry and had volunteers manually enter information that was scraped from a number of public mailing lists, internet sites and other online resources that had listings and contact information. Getting all this information into a single database, and then providing it as a public resource proved valuable to many agencies.
  • The second phase of our response came about from the demand to organize and manage all of requests for assistance that were being made by both responding agencies, and the victims of the earthquake themselves in Haiti.Using their cellphones, hundreds of people were reporting emergency aid requests via SMS text message and to social networking sites like twitter.
  • The SMS messages sent to a shortcode – 4636 – were processed, translated, and entered into a structured data format by a team of volunteers supported by several organizations, including EIS, the Thomas Reuters Foundation, Ushahidi and others. These requests were published by Ushahidi using an open data standard. This information was pulled into Sahana from Ushahidi, which allowed humanitarian agencies to review the requests by category, to search and sort them by priority, and make pledges to fulfill the requests.
  • Structured twitter posts were processed by Project Epic at the University of Colorado at Boulder through a project called “Tweak the Tweet”. This data was also organized and available for review and response within Sahana.First responders and urban search and rescue teams used these sources of information to save lives in Haiti.
  • The third phase of our response concerned information about Hospital capacity. Within a week of the earthquake, the highest priority information request coming from responding agencies was for the location and bed availability of functioning hospitals within Haiti.Sahana stood up its hospital management in response, which was designed for this very purpose. First, we organized a volunteer effort to identify the geo-location – accurate latitude and longitude coordinates for every known hospital in the country. We started with a pre-earthquake list of hospitals and medical facilities from the Ministry of Health, but many of these did not have geolocation information. We then asked volunteers to find the coordinates of the 100 hospitals without them from this list; it took only 24 hours to find them all. A GIS analyst from FortiusOne donated her time to use the high resolution World Bank flyover imagery of the country to eliminate duplicates and erroneous listings from our dataset, and to improve the accuracy of our data overall. As a result of these effforts, Sahana had the most accurate and comprehensive data set of operating hospitals in Haiti which was a highly valued asset by many responding agencies and the health facilities in Haiti themselves.
  • Publishing our hospitals data using the EDXL-HAVE standard allowed other organizations to pull in Sahana’s hospital data into their own systems, adding great value to the efforts to help the Haitian population. Sahana’s advocacy and leadership in the use of the OASIS EDXL-HAVE standard led to its adoption by all organizations attempting to collect and coordinate hospital information. This data and system has now been handed over to the Haitian Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization.
  • As a result of Sahana’s proven effectiveness, the Sahana Software Foundation was approached in early February by the UN World Food Programme, who asked us to set up a Food Request Portal – based on the capabilities we had already developed and deployed for the Haiti earthquake response, to help the Food Cluster coordinates requests for food aidto be distributed by humanitarian agencies in Haiti. The system links the Organization Registry and Request Management System to WFP and Food Cluster business processes.
  • These agencies use Sahana to define where food distribution centers are, the number of people they need to feed, and make requests for food deliveries or pickups.This request system allows the World Food Programme to plan for its distributions.Updates are sent back to the humanitarian agencies via SMS message to their registered cellphone number with information on when deliveries or pickups have been scheduled.The system went live within weeks and is being used today in Haiti, with plans to make it a long-term tool of the Food Cluster.
  • The Final piece of the Sahana response to Haiti story belongs to our partners at the US National Library of Medicine, who hosted the Haiti Earthquake People Locator which was built on Sahana’s Missing Persons Registry.This system used the PFIF data standard to exchange and update data from multiple sources, including Google’s main missing and found persons registry and CNN’s iReport.It provides a more user-friendly front-end for those searching for loved ones while not duplicating efforts of having multiple missing persons websites, as it also returned updates via the PFIF standards back to its source.
  • The Sahana Software Foundation is committed to open standards for data exchange, and the REST controller within the Sahana system deployed for Haiti published all of the organization, person, hospital and request data in all of these standards, making it easy for other systems to access the information within Sahana, and to better utilize it to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake. The Sahana Software Foundation supports the work of standards-setting bodies like OASIS and W3C as a part of our Standards and Interoperability Project.
  • The response to the Haiti earthquake also brought new partners to Sahana – including the UN World Food Programme as a major customer of Sahana software.We had significant users from first responders and Urban Search and Rescue Teams working for US SOUTHERN COMMAND and the US COAST GUARD, as well as Responding Agencies and Hospitals in Haiti.We formed strategic partnerships with many US Government and UN agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, USAID, the State Department, PAHO, OCHA and UNHCR.
  • We could not have been successful without the support, collaboration and cooperative efforts of many other humanitarian open source projects. These partners deserve special recognition. The spirit of cooperation and collaboration amongst all of these groups was unprecedented.
  • In conclusion, Sahana’s utilization of open standards allows it to consume and produce geo-spatial data and integrate with dozens of other data and imagery collecting applications. As such, it can serve as a powerful integration platform of disaster data. Through development of new capabilities such as applications for the Android phone, Blackberry, iPhone and other mobile devices, along with automated SMS message processing, Sahana has the ability to serve as a powerful global and community disaster information collection and dissemination tool. By overlaying data from crowd sourcing applications like Ushahidi and Geo-Chat, social networking sites like Twitter, with the libraries of disaster information that Sahana collects about the locations of organizations, shelters and resources, Sahana has demonstrated its ability to serve as an unparalleled disaster information management system for governmental and non-governmental organizations, and for public use. Successful configuration and localization experiments have proven Sahana’s ability to be NIMS compliant for deployment by federal, state and local jurisidictions in the United States, as well as for other countries using different languages and terminology. And finally, Sahana has demonstrated an ability to accomplish all of this on easily deployable and inexpensive hardware.
  • Many free and open source application are tools for developers. Sahana is about providing FOSS solutions for disaster responders. We have achieved an effective balance by involving stakeholders and experts in disaster management directly into our governance structures, which is unusual for an open source project.Our community is open and we welcome new contributors interested in FOSS and those interested in disaster management. We provide support to those wishing to use Sahana for disaster preparedness and response and other humanitarian purposes. Please feel free to contact us for more information about how to get involved in Sahana.Sahana – Free and Open Source Software.Thank you.

Sahana brief 042210_kolkata_narrated Sahana brief 042210_kolkata_narrated Presentation Transcript

  • SahanaFree & Open Source Disaster Information Management Softwarehttp://www.SahanaFoundation.org
    “No innovation matters more
    than that which saves lives”
    Avelino J. Cruz, Jr., Secretary of National Defence of the Philippines
    on the use of Sahana following disastrous mudslides in 2005
  • Sahana
    What is Sahana?
    A free & open source portableweb tool
    Modules designed to address common
    Disaster Management problems
    A Rapid Application Development
    (RAD) platform
    Main Goals
    Bring efficiencies to disaster response
    Facilitate effective information exchange between responders and beneficiaries
    Primary focus is to help victims
  • The Historic Trigger: 12/26/04 Indian Ocean Tsunami
    • At least 226,000 dead
    • Up to 5 million people lost homes, or access to food and water
    • 1 million people left without a means to make a living
    • At least $7.5 billion in the cost of damages
  • Problem: Aftermath of Disasters
    The traumacaused by waiting to be found or find the next of kin
    Coordinatingall aid groups and helping them to operate effectively as one
    Managingthe multitude of requests from the affected region and matching them effectively to the pledges of assistance
    Trackingthe location of all temporary shelters, camps, etc.
  • How Can Technology Help?
    Scalable management of information
    No stacks of forms and files to manage
    Efficient distribution of information
    Accessibility of information on demand
    Automatic collation and calculation
    No delay for assessments and calculations
    Live situational awareness
    Reports are updated live as data is entered
  • Sahana first deployed by Sri Lanka following tsunami
  • Sahana Core Modules
    • Organization Registry
    Maintains data (contact, services, etc) of groups, organizations and volunteers responding to the disaster
    • Missing Persons / Disaster Victim Registry
    Helps track and find missing, deceased, injured and displaced people and families
  • Sahana Core Modules
    • Request Management
    Tracks all requests and helps match pledges for support, aid and supplies to fulfilment
    • Shelter Registry
    Tracks data on all temporary shelters setup following the Disaster
  • Sahana Functionality Overview
    Situation Awareness
    Geospatial Database
    Situation Mapping
    Charts & Reporting
    Person Management
    Person Database
    Victim Tracking & Tracing
    Disaster Victim Identification
    Missing Persons Registry
    Aid Management
    Organization Registry
    Shelter Registry
    Request Management
    Resource Management
    Volunteer Management
    Project Management
    Logistics Management
    Inventory Management
    Hospital Management
    Food Aid Request Portal
    Aid Catalogue
    Communication & Alerting
    E-mail & SMS
    Integration with Situation Mapping
    Alerting System (CAP)
    Alert Aggregation
  • Sahana Technology and Features
    • Environments
    • Linux, Windows, Portable App
    • VM, LiveCD, LiveUSB
    • Translation & Localization
    • Pootle, Character sets
    • Right-to-left scripting
    • Messaging:
    • SMS, GPRS, e-mail
    • GIS & Open Standards:
    • KML, WMS, GeoRSS, WFS
    • Mobile Accessibility
    • Android, iPhone, iPad
    • Blackberry, NetBooks, Cellphones
  • Major Sahana Deployments
    Asian Tsunami in Sri Lanka – 2005
    Kashmir Earthquake in Pakistan – 2005
    Landslide disaster in Philippines– 2005
    YogjakartaEarthquake, Indonesia – 2006
    Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh – 2007
    Coastal Storm Plan in New York City – 2007
    Ica Earthquake, Peru – 2007
    Sarvodaya (NGO), Sri Lanka - 2008
    Bihar Floods, India - 2008
    Chendu-Sitzuan Province Earthquake, China – 2008
    National Disaster Management Center & Ministry of Resettlement & Disaster Relief Services, Sri Lanka – 2009
    Bethesda Hospitals Emergency Preparedness Partnership,Maryland- 2009
    National Disaster Coordinating Council in Philippines – 2009
    National Coordinating Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) in Indonesia – 2009
    Earthquake in Haiti – 2010
    Earthquake in Chile – 2010
    Ministry of Rehabilitation, Sri Lanka – 2010
  • Sahana used by NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) for Shelter Management
  • NYC Sahana Intake Based on Official Paper Forms
  • NYC OEM Situational Awareness
  • Recognition
    • Best Practices Award from Public Private Businesses, Inc. – 2010
    • UNESCAP Technical Paper: A Case Study of the Sahana Disaster Management System of Sri Lanka – 2009
    • Sourceforge Community Choice Awards Best Project for Government Finalist – 2009
    • Communications of the ACM: Revitalizing Computing Education Through Free and Open Source Software for Humanity - 2009
    • Disaster Resource Guide Quarterly: New Open Source Software Could Greatly Improve Federal and State Disaster Relief Operations - 2008
    • Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme ePrimer: ICT for Disaster Management – 2007
    • UNDP IOSN Case Study on Sahana – 2006
    • Free Software Foundation Award for Social Benefit – 2006
    • SHG Good Samaritan Award – 2006
    • BBC Documentary, The Codebreakers – 2006
    • Sourceforge Project of the Month – June 2006
    • User Award from Redhat Summit – 2005
  • The Sahana Community
    • A global voluntary team of developers and experts including:
    Emergency Managers
    Relief Workers
    ICT Specialists and Researchers
    Experienced FOSS developers
    Humanitarian Activists
    Nurses and other Public Health Experts
    Global collaboration for the global public good
  • Sahana Software Foundation
    Established as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in state of California June 2009
    Took over Governance of Sahana from Lanka Software Foundation (Sri Lanka)
    Develop and promote free and open source software for disaster management and emergency management (all four phases)
    Promote and be a leader in open standards for data exchange
  • Recent Advancements in Sahana: GIS, Situational Awareness and Data Collection
  • $400* Netbook as Server
    * 2007 price
  • US NIMS/ICS Compliance: Services as Emergency Support Functions
  • Volunteer Management System used for Exercise/Experiment Management
  • OpenLayers Integration with Local Open Street Maps Server & InSTEDD’sGeoChat
  • Remote Data Collection on OLPC
  • OpenLayers Integration with Local Google Earth Fusion Server
  • OpenLayers Integration with (Poorly) Mosaiced and Referenced UAV Imagery
  • SahanaSMS Android App
    • Embeds GPS coordinates within SMS messages to Sahana.
    • Allows users to send and view data on maps.
    • Similar apps planned for Blackberry, iPhone, PalmPre, and java-capable cell-phones.
  • US NIMS/ICS Compliance:
    Use of DHS FGDC Symbology
  • Developer of Android App sent location from Random Hacks of Kindness Event
  • Sahana contributor downloaded SahanaSMS and within 5 minutes
  • We drilled into the message
    he sent to locate him
  • Right down to his house
  • Situational Awareness from SahanaSMS Android app & standard cell phones
  • KML Streaming into Google Earth
  • Haiti Earthquake Responsehttp://Haiti.SahanaFoundation.org
  • Open Standards
    Sahana’s REST controller publishes all data:
    GeoRSS / RSS
    EDXL-HAVE (Hospital AVailability Exchange)
    PFIF (Person Finder Interchange Format)
  • New Partners
    Client: UN World Food Programme (WFP)
    Responding Agencies & Hospitals in Haiti
    Strategic Partners
  • Open Source Technology Partners
    FortiusOne / Geocommons
    Crisis Mappers
    Crisis Commons / Crisis Camps
    Mindtel / Synergy Strike Force
    Open Solutions Group
  • Summary
    • Open Source/Open Standards: Consumer & Producer of Geo-Spatial Data using GeoRSS, WMS, KML & OpenLayers
    • Integration with UAV and satellite imagery
    • Crowd sourcing and assessment through Android Application & SMS Gateway
    • US NIMS Compliance through l10n utilizing DHS NIMS/ICS symbology & terminology
    • Demonstration of low barriers to entry: Deployable Platform: $400 netbook as server
  • SahanaA Global Free and Open Source Project
    Freedom to use, analyze, modify and re-distribute
    Available for everybody at no cost
    Open for research and development
    Collaboratively developed by a Global community
    Mark Prutsalis, President & CEO
    Sahana Software Foundation
    @SahanaFOSS #Sahana