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Situation Awareness with IT for Regional Disaster Mangement Workshop
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Situation Awareness with IT for Regional Disaster Mangement Workshop


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Regional Situation Awareness Module that I presented for the regional disaster management workshop sponsored by the British High Commission

Regional Situation Awareness Module that I presented for the regional disaster management workshop sponsored by the British High Commission

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  • Information is powr
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    • 1. Disaster Situation Awareness with Information Technology Chamindra de Silva SAHANA, Director and PMC Member W3C EIIF XG Co-Chair Virtusa, Technology Strategist
    • 2. My Background
      • 12 Years of Experience building software
        • Export and Local
      • How did I get into disaster management?
        • Tsunami: One of the IT industry volunteers
        • 3. Sahana software tool for the CNO
      • Later we embodied this into a free system
        • A public good with a global community
        • 4. Deployed for governments of Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, Bangladesh, China, US (New York, Galveston) and again in SL
    • 5. Agenda
      • What is Situation Awareness?
        • The problem of Situation Awareness in a Large Scale Disaster
      • How IT can help and how it can fail?
      • 6. Useful applications of IT for disaster management
      • 7. Important considerations in applying IT
      • 8. Demo Sahana
    • 9. Situation Awareness Defn: “ Perception of the environment critical to decision-makers in complex and dynamic situations”
        • Studies show, lack of SA has been identified as one of the primary factors in accidents attributed to human error (Hartel, Smith, & Prince, 1991; Merket, Bergondy, & Cuevas-Mesa, 1997; Nullmeyer, Stella, Montijo, & Harden, 2005)
        • 10. Making the best educated guess is inevitable!
        • 11. Important especially in high information flow , high consequential impact domains (lives at stake)
          • Air Traffic Control, Military Command and Control, Emergency Response, Disaster Management
    • 12. Levels of Situation Awareness Current State of Situation Level 1 Perception of Elements In Current Situation Level 2 Comprehension of Current Situation Level 3 Projection of Future States Quality of Information Decision Information Action
    • 13. SA in Emergency Management Well defined Response Process Well defined Information Flows Well Trained Responders e.g. Traffic Accident Building Fire Bus Bomb Blast Information Information Situation Awareness Act Decide
    • 14. Disaster => Unexpected info Sources
      • Government & Emergency Services relief capacity has been exceeded or crippled
      • 15. To match relief capacity boundary of response effort extends to other groups (Other Gov, Civil Society, Foreign Aid, UN)
      • 16. Core Decision Makers need to consult a wider group for better situation awareness
      • 17. Information has to be gathered from non-traditional “uninitiated” sources for better Situation Awareness
    • 18. Disasters Coordination Large Scale (like Tsunami) 10s of Orgs 100s of Orgs 1000s – 1 Mill Government Relief Government Ministries, Police, Army, Fire fighters, + Authorized coord + Well trained + Accountable +/- Big picture relief (e.g. national security) - Procedures create bottlenecks - Overloaded Local Relief Spontaneous volunteers, corporate village communities, friends and family + first responders + lot of capacity + instant aid - not trained - focus unknown - not accountable UN, NGOs Red Cross, OCHA, CARE, WHO, Sarvodaya, etc + focused on people + trusted to accept aid +/- less well trained + accountable - Donor driven - narrow focus / fragmented - sometimes competing Victims Effective Collaboration and Coordination! Relief
    • 19. SA in Disaster Management Multiple Disparate Information Sources Information Overload Large delta to reality Diverse Responders Relief workers, Volunteers Multiple Parallel independent Processes Trust? Clarity Repetition Priority? Information Information Situation Awareness?? Act Information Information Information Decide
    • 20. Levels of Situation Awareness Current State of Situation Level 1 Perception of Elements In Current Situation Level 2 Comprehension of Current Situation Level 3 Projection of Future States Quality of Information Decision Information Action
    • 21. Typical Problems Responders have work on..
      • Search And Rescue
      • 22. Evacuation
      • 23. Setting up Shelters
      • 24. Effective Distribution of Aid
      • 25. Management of Donars and Donations
      • Tracing Missing People
      • 26. Protecting Children
      • 27. Trauma Counseling
      • 28. Assuring Security of Affected Areas
      • 29. Rehabilitation
      Live saving decisions need to be made very fast ! The best decisions are the most informed ones
    • 30. The Manual Approach..
      • 100-10,000s of paper forms
        • That have to be managed
        • 31. Inconsistent Terminology
        • 32. Multiple orgs, same common data
      • Coordination Complexity
        • Telephone: O(N 2 )
      • Manual Reporting
      • 33. Delayed Situation Awareness !
      16 120 8 5 10 28
    • 34. How Can I.T. Help?
      • Scalable management of information
        • Increase manageability of millions of records
      • Consistent Propogation of Data
        • Information is less prone to error on sharing
      • Share data more effectively
        • Accessibility of information without bottlenecks
      • Live Situation Awareness
        • Latest analysis, maps and reports automatically calculated
    • 35. Problem Areas IT Helps Manage
        • Tracing Missing People
        • 36. Coordinating Who is doing What Where?
        • 37. Tracking Displaced Families
        • 38. Collaborative and live Incident Mapping
        • 39. Aid Logistics Management
        • 40. Scalable Alerting
        • 41. Data Collation , Calculation and Reporting
        • 42. Automated Messaging to the Public
      “ Every Second Counts” => IT Maximizes Efficiency & Effectiveness
    • 43. Who is doing What , Where & When ?
      • Registry of operating relief organizations
      • 44. Coverage of Services
      • 45. Self-Allocation and Reporting
      • 46. Contact Information
      The Organization Registry helps maintain data (contact, services, region, etc) of organizations groups and volunteers working in the disaster
    • 47. Tracking Missing People / Casualties
      • Shared Bulletin Board of lost / found
      • 48. Computer based search heuristics
      • 49. Tracking Displaced Family units
      • 50. Analyzing networks of connections
      The Missing People Registry helps track and find missing, people
    • 51. Matching Aid to Ground Realities
      • Estimating Needs
      • 52. Matching Aid to Ground Needs
      • 53. Inventories/Catalog
      • 54. Quantities
      • 55. Expiration dates
      • 56. Re-order levels
      • 57. Tracking Allocation
      The Request Management System tracks all requests and helps match pledges for support, aid and supplies to fullfilment
    • 58. Collaborative Situation Mapping Collaborative Map of The Shelter Registry helps track data on all shelters setup following the Disaster
    • 65. Mobility of Information (Field Access) USB Disk / Laptop PDA OLPC + Synchronization The Messaging Module sends and recieves SMS / emails from responders
    • 66. Other Applications
      • Disaster Victim (Displaced Family) Module
        • Tracking displaced people
      • Volunteer Management Module
        • Handling volunteers, skills, availability, staff
      • Inventory Management
        • Handling supplies, expiry dates, allocations
      • Evacuation Management
        • Efficient process for registering and evacuating people
      • Bio-Surveillance
        • Identify patterns of incidents for early pandemic containment
    • 67. How Can I.T. Fail in a disaster
      • Comms can be saturated or not accessible
        • Systems have to be able to work disconnected
      • User familiarity can be low
        • Systems has to be as intuitive as possible
      • Data centers can get impacted
        • Systems have to be resilient ( simple ), mobile and self-sufficient
      • Functionality can be inadequate
        • System has to be quickly customizable
      • Electricity Can be Down
    • 68. Designing for disaster management
    • 69. “Tactical” Hazard Info. Center (HIC)
    • 70. Collaborative Virtual Helpdesk zone of trust (legislation)
    • 71. Data Sharing Conundrum
      • The problem of trust
        • The data is sensitive people data
        • 72. Data Validity or Accountability for data
        • 73. Legislation and pre-existing MoUs
      • Access vs Security
        • Data needs to be protected from those you do not trust, yet shared freely from those you do
        • 74. To much security creates bottlenecks in disasters
      • Data Owner decides
    • 75. If Sharing has Constraints
      • Data Sensitivity Levels
      • Authentication, Authorization, Access
      Data Sensitivity
    • 76. Peer 2 Peer Pony Express
    • 77. RAD and Ownership
      • Need a Rapidly Customizable tool
        • Country Specific
        • 78. Situation Specific
        • 79. Organization Specific
        • 80. I12N, L10N
      • Key is Ownership
        • Gov needs control and transparency of system accepted
        • 81. Ownership of data
    • 82. Few Lessons Learned on Deployment
      • Pre-deployment is best!
        • Otherwise L10N and customization on the fly
      • Encourage data centralization and sharing
        • promote integration to trusted groups
      • Get the system officially authorized
        • Promoted through the central relief coordinating authority designated by the Government
      • Build simple, flexible, resilient IT solutions
      • Securing the Perimeter vs Accessibility
        • Solid ACLs and perimeter security is needed
    • 83. The Sahana Project Example
      • What is it?
        • A free portable web tool
        • 84. Sub-applications designed to address th e common Disaster Management probs
        • 85. A RAD platform
      • Main Goals
        • Bring Efficiencies to Disaster Coordination and Prompt Response
        • 86. Facilitate the effective information exchange between a diverse groups of people (NGOs, Government, EM groups and victims)
        • 87. Primary focus is to help victims
    • 88. I.T. Challenges handled by Sahana
      • No or Low Budget for Disaster Coord.
        • Zero license cost + works on old hardware
      • Leaning curve of new users
        • Sahana can be translated and has be designed to be as intuitive as possible
      • Comms can be saturated or not accessible
        • Sahana supports USB flash based exchange
      • Data centers can get impacted
        • Sahana can work both in mobile and centralize modes
    • 89. Deployment Overview
      • Center for National Operations, Govt. of Sri Lanka, for Tsunami in Sri Lanka – 2005
      • 90. NADRA, Govt. of Pakistan for Asian Quake in Pakistan – 2005
      • 91. Govt. of Philippines, for Landslide disaster in Philippines– 2005
      • 92. Pre-deployment in Sarvodaya, Sri Lanka
      • 93. Yogjakarta Earthquake, Indonesia – 2006
    • 94. Sahana: Sri Lanka - CNO
    • 95. Sahana: NADRA, Pakistan
    • 96. Deployment Overview...
      • Deployment for OEM, New York City Council, U.S.A, 2007
      • 97. Deployment for office of the President, Peru, 2007
      • 98. Deployment for Disaster Management Bureau, for Cyclone Sidr, Bangladesh, 2007
      • 99. Used for Sarvodaya, Sri Lanka, 2008
      • 100. Deployed and used in Myanmar, 2008
      • 101. Deployed and used for Chengdu, China, 2008
      • 102. Deployed and used for Bihar, India 2008
    • 103. Sahana: NYC Coastal, US
    • 104. Sahana: Sarvodaya, Sri Lanka
    • 105. How Sahana Differentiates Itself
      • “Forged in the Fire”
      • 106. Neutral A-Political Solution
      • 107. Ownership and Empowerment of end-user (Government)
      • 108. R.A.D Disaster Customization
      • 109. Multi-Organizational (local) Support
      • 110. Transparent and Open Community Development Process
      • 111. Portable and Multiple Deployment Modes
    • 112. What is Free and Open Source?
      • Free as in Speech
        • Freedom to access, run, modify and redistribute
      • Open Source
        • Is a set of principles and practices that promotes access to the design and production of goods and knowledge
        • 113. Open APIs, Open Code (Blueprints), Open Standards
      • Regulated by FOSS Licenses
        • GPL (FSF), LPGL (FSF), Apache (ASF), BSD, CPL
        • 114. Based on Copyright law, but spun on it's head (copyleft)
        • 115. Rights are passed perpectually to users
        • 116. GPL have been proven in court e.g. FSF vs BT
      • Software is special
        • Open Source software becomes a global public good
    • 117. How does Open Source Help Here?
      • Low Cost
        • Better accessibility to low IT budgets
      • Freely Available to deploy
        • No discrimination on access (Red Cross CC #2)
        • 118. Ability to “leave technology behind” (RC CC #6)
      • Rapid customization to actual needs w ith code
        • L10N and integration
        • 119. Building local capacities & self-reliance (RC CC #6)
      • Open system => Transparent and trustworthy
        • Better acceptance than “foreign” proprietary systems
      • This should be a global public good
        • Build on each others work by including it in project
      Called Humanitarian-FOSS or H-FOSS
    • 120. Now driven by a Global Community An Open Global Community (250+)
        • A diverse group of Emergency Management Practitioners, Humanitarian Workers, Academics and Programmers
        • 121. LSF, IBM, Bluepoint, Respere, Google GSoC, ISCRAM, Universities: Uo Colombo (SL), Uo Moratuwa (SL), Trinity College (US), Uo Maryland (US), Tilburg University (Netherlands), NYC
    • 122. Quote from Philippines Response "the NDCC and OCD value SAHANA's contribution to the relief and rehabilitation phases of the Southern Leyte landslides and recognize the tremendous boost to our preparedness for future disasters” “ while SAHANA cannot solve all the problems in a disaster, it is an excellent tool to create registries that can provide timely and reliable information on missing persons, donated goods and services, camp locations, and the like. It's technology that can help many people in a disaster. In fact, there is no greater innovation that matters more than that which saves lives. " Avelino J. Cruz, Jr. Secretary of National Defense, Philippines
    • 123. Thank You Further Questions? [email_address] Sahana Demo Sahana Website