ReliefWeb Strategic Business Plan

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  • 1. ReliefWeb Strategic Business Plan
    Outputs of Planning Workshop, December 2009
    December 11th, 2009
    New York, v1.2
    0
  • 2. All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    Table of Contents
    Background to Business Planning Workshop and Drivers for Change
    A Vision for ReliefWeb Services to the Humanitarian Community
    Delivery Strategy and Implementation Plan
    Appendix
    1
  • 3. ReliefWeb launched in October 1996 with a bold and untested idea
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    2
    However, Success is Far from Assured
    ReliefWeb Launches
    Less that 1% of the world’s population enjoys Internet access
    A basic laptop computer costs an average of over $4,000 in today’s money
    “Walled gardens” from commercial providers such as CompuServe and AOL provided most of the meaningful content on the Internet
    Few humanitarian agency staff members show interest in investing in web technologies
    Internet access in developing and conflict-affected countries is non-existent – or at least difficult, slow and expensive
    Source: ReliefWeb, February 1997; Linksbridge research, December 2009
  • 4. Nevertheless, ReliefWeb’s bet was a very significant success for OCHA
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    3
    ReliefWeb Success 1996-2009
    • ReliefWeb attracted over 8.9M visitors in 2008 from 236 countries or territories, with over 140,000 signing up for e-mail updates or customized accounts
    • 5. May 2009 saw over 3.84M page views alone
    • 6. Currently, over 3,400 organizations provide information to ReliefWeb (45% NGOs, 10% UN and international organizations)
    • 7. In 2008, ReliefWeb published over 58,500 documents
    • 8. Three duty stations provide 24-hour news coverage
    Source: http://www.internetworldstats.com, December 2009; ReliefWeb, December 2009
  • 9. However, today’s highly available, cheap, fast, rich, mobile Internet generates new ways to find and create content
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    4
    Dimensions of Internet Expansion 1996 to 2015
    • Every country or territory in the world now has Internet coverage
    • 10. Costs of accessing the Internet have dropped to the extent that the government of Uruguay has been able to equip every primary school child in 2009 with a wireless-enabled laptop for $260
    • 11. This year, the East African Marine Cable System is now offering broadband speed to the last region without a fiber optic connection
    • 12. People meet, exchange ideas and transact using web functionality, rather than just read information
    • 13. The Economist estimates over half of the world’s 7B mobile phones will have Internet access by 2015
    • 14. Blogs, FaceBook, FlickR and Twitter mean ordinary people are routinely posting their own content and challenging the previous monopoly of news providers
    Global Coverage
    Higher
    Affordability of Costs
    Availability of Content
    Lower
    Access Speeds
    Mobility
    Web Functionality
    Source: Linksbridge research, December 2009; http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8309583.stm, October 2009
  • 15. This rapid change risks ReliefWeb’s continued relevance unless ReliefWeb also innovates
    Current Opportunities and Threats to ReliefWeb Model
    Opportunities
    Threats to Current Model
    Address a much larger audience – and increasingly communities affected by natural disaster and conflict
    Deliver content to mobile phones and handheld devices
    Enable ReliefWeb users to submit their own content to the site
    Include new sources of content on ReliefWeb, e.g. blogs, wikis and tweets
    Because almost every humanitarian organization now has its own web channel, ReliefWeb’s repository of humanitarian information becomes increasingly redundant
    Users create their own real time humanitarian news streams in search engines and content aggregators, e.g. Google, Bing, news sites
    FaceBook, LinkedIn or similar services catch on as the humanitarian community’s platform of choice
    Increasing volumes of humanitarian information overwhelm ReliefWeb’s editorial capacity to collect, process and post
    More frequent changes in editorial policy undermine the consistency of ReliefWeb’s archive
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    5
    Source: ReliefWeb Business Plan Workshop discussions, December 2009
  • 16. All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    Table of Contents
    Background to Business Planning Workshop and Drivers for Change
    A Vision for ReliefWeb Services to the Humanitarian Community
    Delivery Strategy and Implementation Plan
    Appendix
    6
  • 17. ReliefWeb must evolve new value-added services that take advantage of the opportunities that change offers
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    7
    ReliefWeb Strategic Options Analysis
    1
    • Advantages: ReliefWeb users and supporters still value the current service. ReliefWeb also avoids risks associated with change and minimizes disruption to commitments and staffing plans
    • 18. Disadvantages: However, option is unsustainable in the medium to long term and by the time ReliefWeb institutes change, the window of opportunity for OCHA to act may have closed if the humanitarian community adopts alternatives
    Option: Continue ReliefWeb As-is for Time Being
    2
    • Advantages: This is a valid option, i.e. ReliefWeb has done its job and self-sustaining alternatives to ReliefWeb can adequately fulfill humanitarian needs
    • 19. Disadvantages: However, this option throws away ReliefWeb’s investment in building an online audience, its brand recognition, and its ability to leverage its credibility in the humanitarian community to impact humanitarian action
    Option: Wind Down Service in the Future
    3
    • Disadvantages: This is ReliefWeb’s preferred option and allows OCHA to exploit ReliefWeb’s position to provide valuable information services, show humanitarian leadership and improve humanitarian action
    • 20. Disadvantages: This option requires bold change that brings with it risks, and requires investment by OCHA in executive support, management and staff time, and financial resources
    Option: Evolve New Value-added Services
    Preferred Option
    Source: ReliefWeb Business Plan Workshop discussions, December 2009
  • 21. ReliefWeb will develop into a preferred platform for the aid community to meet, exchange information and do business
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    8
    ReliefWeb Vision: The Common Platform Where the Humanitarian Community Meets, Exchanges Information and Does Business
    Key Elements
    Vision
    • Offer an indispensable platform – a common place – where the humanitarian community does real work
    • 22. Actively engage with user-generated content
    • 23. Extend concept of constituency to members of community affected by natural disaster and conflict
    • 24. Seek greater localization, i.e. the ability for users to work in any language they choose
    • 25. The common platform
    • 26. Where the humanitarian community:
    • 27. Meets other donors, UN agencies, international NGOs, members of communities affected by natural disaster and conflict
    • 28. Exchanges information
    • 29. Does its business, i.e. identifies needs, finds resources and posts progress
    • 30. That generates tangible improvements in humanitarian action
    Source: ReliefWeb Business Plan Workshop discussions, December 2009
  • 31. The ability to complete real work makes ReliefWeb compelling as a business platform
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    9
    How Different Users Work on ReliefWeb as a Platform
    Receive disaster and conflict alerts
    Track crisis
    Register profile
    Mine data archives
    Follow progress
    Receive disaster and conflict alerts
    Track crisis
    Register profile
    Utilize suppliers mart
    Mine data archives
    Follow progress
    Register professional details
    Receive disaster and conflict alerts
    Look up in-country network
    Offer expert services
    Track crisis
    Utilize skills mart
    Bid for emergency funding
    Receive, vet and accept applications
    Report progress
    Mine data archives
    Post vacancies; find matches
    Utilize map center
    Comment on needs
    Comment on progress
    Source: ReliefWeb Business Plan Workshop discussions, December 2009
  • 32. Content
    Professional Networking
    Market place
    ReliefWeb Applications
    Distinct autonomous interoperable services enable the end-to-end platform
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    10
    Draft ReliefWeb Services Architecture
    In
    Inbox
    Job Finder
    App 1
    Own Content
    User Content
    Post and Match
    Apply
    Screen and Accept
    People You May Know
    App 2
    Search
    App 3
    Processing
    Skills Mart
    Network Updates
    Higher Touch
    Lower Touch
    Post Needs
    Bid
    Screen and Accept
    App 4
    Groups
    App 5
    Distribution
    Introductions
    App 6
    Web
    Mobile
    Social Media
    Contacts
    App n
    Profile
    Individual
    Organizational
    File Handling
    Note: Feasibility of reporting tools services requires validation
    Source: ReliefWeb Business Plan Workshop discussions, December 2009
  • 33. All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    Table of Contents
    Background to Business Planning Workshop and Drivers for Change
    A Vision for ReliefWeb Services to the Humanitarian Community
    Delivery Strategy and Implementation Plan
    Appendix
    11
  • 34. Implementing the vision requires significant change to ReliefWeb’s operating model
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    12
    Key Elements of Delivery Strategy Implementation Plan
    1
    • Strategy and planning capabilities vital to developing platform
    • 35. An operations bridge takes overall control of expanded scope
    • 36. An integration layer enables information systems to present a rich and consistent experience to users
    Build on ReliefWeb’s existing organizational foundation and operational footprint
    2
    • Management functions and operations bridge in-house
    • 37. Page curation, other routine content services and integration potentially co-sourced
    • 38. Information systems paid for as outsourced service by subscription
    Focus internal resources on highest value activities and aggressively outsource commodity services
    3
    • Avoidance of all-embracing system with potential for lock-in over the longer term, or large IT effort to integrate more open systems
    • 39. IT approach based on integrating the information flowing between systems only
    Reduce IT complexity by integrating information flowing between systems, rather than systems themselves
    4
    • Changes segmented according to effort required to complete and impact on service
    • 40. Work grouped into higher, medium and lower priority tasks based on segmentation and dependencies between changes
    Carefully indentify dependencies between changes and prioritize work
    5
    • Quick wins and core Content Management System (as Phase 1) by end-June 2010
    • 41. Major functionality changes (as Phase 2) by end-December 2010
    • 42. Longer term initiatives, such as reporting, (as Phase 3) by mid 2011
    Phase implementation of the new user experience and specific system changes
    Source: ReliefWeb Business Plan Workshop discussions, December 2009
    These elements explained in detail on next pages
  • 43. Build on ReliefWeb’s existing organizational foundation and operational footprint
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    13
    Draft ReliefWeb Operating Model
    1
    Governance and Leadership
    • There is little change to ReliefWeb’s Governance and Leadership functions except additional focus on the importance of Strategy and Planning in developing the platform
    • 44. ReliefWeb creates an Operations Bridge to take overall control of the expanded inventory of services including Professional Networks Monitoring, Market Place Services and Other Services, e.g. a request from a third party to add a ReliefWeb App
    • 45. ReliefWeb implements an Integration layer to enable its Information Systems to present a rich and consistent experience to users, and adds to its suite Professional Networks social media, more Market Place Services (e.g. the skills mart) and ReliefWeb Apps
    Line Management
    Donor and Partner Relations
    Strategy and Planning
    Operations Center
    Operations Bridge
    Content Management
    Professional Networks Monitoring
    Market Place Services
    Monitoring
    Other Services Management
    Information Systems
    Integration
    Key
    In Place
    New Element
    Partially in Place
    Content Management System
    Professional Networks System
    Market Place Services System
    ReliefWeb Apps
    Source: ReliefWeb Business Plan Workshop discussions, December 2009
  • 46. Focus internal resources on highest value activities and aggressively outsource commodity services
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    14
    Draft ReliefWeb Sourcing Approach
    2
    Outsourced
    In-house
    Donor and Partner Relations
    Content Management
    Content Management System
    Strategy and Planning
    Professional Networks Monitoring
    Professional Networks System
    Integration
    Line Management
    Market Place Services Monitoring
    Market Place Services System
    Operations Bridge
    Other Services Management
    ReliefWeb Apps
    Key
    In Place
    New Element
    Partially in Place
    Source: ReliefWeb Business Plan Workshop discussions, December 2009
  • 47. Reduce IT complexity by integrating information flowing between systems, rather than systems themselves
    ReliefWeb’s current IT platform has significantly slowed development of the service
    However, ReliefWeb should not exchange one all-embracing system for another with equal potential for lock-in over the longer term. ReliefWeb should also avoid a large IT effort to integrate more open systems at the IT level itself
    Instead, ReliefWeb will base its IT approach on integrating the information flowing between systems only, i.e. lay out a robust user authentication and profile management architecture, invest in strong presentation logic and a well designed presentation layer; however, take a heterogeneous approach to the underlying IT assets that serve up data or process transactions
    Validating this approach and establishing this IT framework is an early step in Phase 1 of implementation (see page 17)
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    15
    Proposed ReliefWeb IT Framework
    3
    Presentation Layer
    Presentation Logic
    Content Management System
    Further Application 1
    Social Networking Functionality
    Further Application 2
    Marketplace System
    Further Application 3
    Authentication and Profile Management
    Source: ReliefWeb Business Plan Workshop discussions, December 2009
  • 48. Carefully identify dependencies between changes and prioritize work
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    16
    H
    Q
    C
    F
    O
    G
    A
    B
    D
    D
    J
    M
    I
    L
    P
    R
    E
    N
    Analysis of Task Dependencies and Priorities
    4
    L
    K
    Survey
    ReliefWeb Apps
    Marginal
    Main Effort
    K
    O
    H
    B
    E
    A
    M
    F
    J
    Sourcing Strategy
    Mobile Channel
    Customized RSS
    Auto Gathering
    Content Management
    Service Feedback
    IS Architecture
    Profile Management
    Higher
    N
    Social Networking
    Higher
    Content Process
    K
    P
    Skills Mart
    Effort Required
    Q
    Stringer Network
    G
    Lower Priority
    Quick Wins
    Job Finder
    Lower
    I
    Ops Centre
    R
    User Comments
    Lower
    C
    Document Migration
    Impact on Service
    Key to Priority
    Note: Effort involved in Document Migration requires validation
    Source: ReliefWeb Business Plan Workshop discussions, December 2009
    Higher
    Medium
    Lower
    A
    A
    A
  • 49. Phase implementation of the new user experience and specific system changes
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    17
    Proposed Phased Implementation Plan
    5
    Jun 30
    2010
    Dec 31
    2010
    Jun 302011
    Jan 12010
    O
    D
    E
    A
    M
    F
    J
    Sourcing Strategy
    Content Management
    Service Feedback
    IS Architecture
    Profile Management
    Content Process
    Auto Gathering
    K
    ReliefWeb Apps+
    Phase 3
    L
    N
    Survey
    Social Networking
    Phase 1
    P
    Skills Mart
    Q
    Stringer Network
    G
    Job Finder
    I
    Ops Centre
    K
    ReliefWeb Apps
    Phase 2
    C
    Document Migration
    Source: ReliefWeb Business Plan Workshop discussions, December 2009
  • 50. About the ReliefWeb Business Planning Workshop
    The ReliefWeb Business Planning Workshop took place between Tuesday December 8th and Friday December 11th at OCHA headquarters in New York
    Primary participants were Mark Dalton (ReliefWeb, New York), Shuichi Odaka (ReliefWeb, New York), Mark McCarthy (ReliefWeb, Geneva) and Robin Schofield (Linksbridge, Seattle)
    The workshop team gratefully acknowledges the additional contributions of the ReliefWeb New York team of Veronique Durroux, Akiko Harayama, Viola Voss, Anna Maria Mandorf, Eva Gulla, Angelo Diakantonis, Anca DiGiacomo, Helen Ho and Dragana Kaurin during the workshop process, and ReliefWeb Geneva’s earlier contributions to strategic planning
    Pat Banks, Chief CISB, sponsored and funded the workshop
    Sunni Kim, Karen Komlani and Justine Jacques provided invaluable administrative support
    All rights reserved © ReliefWeb 2009
    18