Sahana General 2009 Community And System

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Talk by Chamindra De Silva at the Sahana Conference 2009, Colombo, Sri Lanka. March 24-25, 2009.

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Sahana General 2009 Community And System

  1. 1. Evolution of the Sahana System and Community Sahana Conference March 24 2009, Sri Lanka Chamindra de Silva SAHANA, Director and First PMC Chair VIRTUSA, Technology Strategist H-ICT Community Co-Founder W3C EIIF XG Co-Chair
  2. 2. “In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed” - Charles Darwin
  3. 3. Agenda Before Evolution... Environment?  Sahana System & Community Interaction  Mutation of Sahana so far.. 
  4. 4. Environment: What is a Disaster? “A disaster is a serious disruption of the functioning of a society, causing widespread human, material or environmental losses which exceeds the ability of the affected society to cope using only its own resources” Source:UNDP
  5. 5. Some Disaster by Type and Impact
  6. 6. A more specific definition UK Home Office Definition: ”Any Event or Circumstance (happening with or without warning) that causes or threatens death or injury, disruption to the community on such a scale that the effects cannot be dealt with by the emergency services, local authorities and other organizations as part of their normal day today activities”
  7. 7. The Response Community Disasters Coordination 10s of Orgs 100s of Orgs 1000s – 1 Mill Local Relief Government Relief UN, NGOs Spontaneous volunteers, Local Authorities, Police, Red Cross, OCHA, CARE, corporate village Army, Fire fighters, WHO, Sarvodaya, etc communities, friends and + Authorized coord + focused on people family + Well trained + trusted to accept aid + first responders + Accountable +/- less well trained + lot of capacity +/- Big picture relief + accountable + instant aid (e.g. national security) - Donor driven - not trained - Procedures create - narrow focus / fragmented - focus unknown bottlenecks - sometimes competing - not accountable - Overloaded Effective Collaboration and Coordination! Relief Victims
  8. 8. Objectives of Disaster Management Achieve survival of maximum number of  people and suffering of the minimum Restore essential services ASAP  Restore order to chaos  Inform the public  Coordinate Relief  Provide a foundation for subsequent Recovery 
  9. 9. Typical Problems Responders have work on.. Search And Rescue Tracing Missing   People Evacuation  Trauma Counseling  Setting up Shelters  Assuring Security of  Effective Distribution  Affected Areas of Aid Protecting Children  Management of  Donars and Donations Rehabilitation  Live saving decisions need to be made very fast! The best decisions are the most informed ones
  10. 10. 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) Important especially in high information flow, high  consequential impact domains (lives at stake) Air Traffic Control, Military Command and Control,  Emergency Response, Disaster Management
  11. 11. SA in Emergency Management Well Trained Well defined Responders Information Flows Information Situation Act Awareness Information Decide Well defined Response Process
  12. 12. Disaster => Unexpected info Sources Government & Emergency Services relief  capacity has been exceeded or crippled To match relief capacity boundary of  response effort extends to external groups (NGOs, Civil Society, Foreign Aid, UN) Core Decision Makers need to consult a  wider group for better situation awareness Information has to be gathered from non-  traditional “uninitiated” sources for better Situation Awareness
  13. 13. SA in Disaster Management Multiple Disparate Information Sources Diverse Responders Relief workers, Information Volunteers Overload Info rma Large delta tion to reality Situation Information Act Awareness?? Information ion mat for In Decide n o ati m r nfo Multiple Parallel independent Processes I
  14. 14. If you were to do it manually 2 Channels N(N-1)/2 = O(N ) 5  Information Lost in relay  and propagation 10 Redundant Data Collection  8 Inconsistent Terminology  Manual Collation /  28 Calculation 16 Delayed Situation  Awareness 120
  15. 15. How Can I.T. 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 Situation Awareness  Reports are updated live as data goes in  IT Improves Manageability ( I α H x V / M )
  16. 16. Thus the Sahana Project What is it?  A free & open source  portable web tool Sub-applications designed  to address the common Disaster Management probs A RAD platform  Main Goals  Bring Efficiencies to Disaster Coordination and  Prompt Response Facilitate the effective information exchange  between responders and beneficiaries Primary focus is to help victims 
  17. 17. The Historic Trigger: Tsunami 2004 26 December 2004 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
  18. 18. How Sahana Started Tsunami 2004 Builds Sri Lanka Urgent IT Requirements Sahana Community Software IT Community = LSF + LKLUG + IT Industry + Academia
  19. 19. The First Community “We just wanted to help our countrymen”  We used our skills to provide a tool  Operational model - “Chaos”  400 IT volunteers  1st week 24hr development  Major releases almost daily  Applications  Missing Person Registry, Organization  Registry, Request management System, Camp Registry
  20. 20. They Build it for the CNO
  21. 21. Independent Hazard Info. Center
  22. 22. Lessons Learned Surprisingly no one had built such a  system before! The open source community coupled with  the humanitarian spirit is a tremendous catalyst for change BUT NEVER build a disaster management  system from scratch during a disaster again!!
  23. 23. Inspired the Second Phase of Sahana Proposal Objectives Build a scalable disaster management sys  Develop Sahana application framework  Develop Initial set of core applications  Make it Open Source and take it global  LSF Core team was funded by SIDA for one year
  24. 24. Sahana Phase II A Global Need (2005) Builds LSF Requirements + SIDA Funds Sahana Team Phase II FOSS Software LSF Team = “Techies” and FOSS Enthusiasts
  25. 25. “Plugin” / Platform Pattern New Module Core Module Core Module New Module Framework and Platform Services The Plugin / Modular Architecture pattern  Enables evolutionary parallel development  “Survival of the fittest module”  Consistent Base Platform for RAD  Themed UI, Support diverse multiple-clients  Security, Data management, Error handling  GIS, WS, Reporting Toolkits  Eg. Firefox, Symbian, Android, PHP, Eclipse 
  26. 26. Why we choose LAMP? (L)AMP – (Linux) Apache MySQL PHP  Free and Open Source end to end  Lightweight (Process and Space)  PHP is easy scripting language to pick up  Rapid “natural” web app development  PHP encourages stateless sessions =>  horizontally scalable LAMP Packages: WAMP, XAMPP 
  27. 27. Who is doing What, Where & When? Registry of  operating relief organizations Coverage of  Services Self-Allocation and  Reporting Contact Information  The Organization Registry helps maintain data (contact, services, region, etc) of organizations groups and volunteers working in the disaster
  28. 28. Tracking Missing People / Casualties Shared Bulletin  Board of lost / found Computer based  search heuristics Tracking Family  units Analyzing networks  of connections The Missing People Registry helps track and find missing, people
  29. 29. Matching Aid to Ground Realities Estimating Needs  Matching Aid to  Ground Needs Inventories/Catalog  Quantities  Expiration dates  Re-order levels  Tracking Allocation  The Request Management System tracks all requests and helps match pledges for support, aid and supplies to fullfilment
  30. 30. Collaborative Situation Mapping Collaborative Map of Hazards / Incidents  Shelters (IDPs)  (field) Hospitals  Organizations  Responders  Stores  etc  The Shelter Registry helps track data on all shelters setup following the Disaster
  31. 31. Initial Development Model Lightweight Software Engineering Project  team with Open Source community participation and advocacy REASON Had to deliver on a timeliness and  deliverables of a funded SIDA project We had to have an initial “complete” app to  attract community participation e.g. Open Office, Mozilla 
  32. 32. The community + FOSS cycle 2006 Builds & Refines LSF + Global Community Sahana Software Attracts & Grows
  33. 33. 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 Open APIs, Open Code (Blueprints), Open Standards  Regulated by FOSS Licenses  GPL (FSF), LPGL (FSF), Apache (ASF), BSD, CPL  Based on Copyright law, but spun on it's head (copyleft)  Rights are passed perpectually to users  GPL have been proven in court e.g. FSF vs BT  Software is special  Open Source software becomes a global public good 
  34. 34. Alignment to Humanitarian Values Freely Available to deploy  No discrimination on access (Red Cross CC #2)  Ability to “leave technology behind” (RC CC #6)  Rapid customization to actual needs with code  L10N and integration (RC CC #5)  Building local capacities & self-reliance (RC CC #6)  Open system => Transparent and trustworthy  Better acceptance than “foreign” proprietary systems  Countries/NGOs can collaborate to develop  Get the best minds from the world to participate in  building the software This should be a global public good  Build on each others work by including it in project  Called Humanitarian-FOSS or H-FOSS
  35. 35. Other Modules Get Added Disaster Victim (IDP) Module  Volunteer Management Module  Inventory Management  Evacuation Management  Data Import / Export  Reporting Module 
  36. 36. Mobile Research POCs + Synchronization OLPC USB Disk / Laptop PDA
  37. 37. Phase II later stages and early 2007 Team composition  LSF Core team providing development and  regular releases Global community providing design input and  helping to spread awareness Leadership  Sahana Committee  50% developers and 50% domain experts  “Meritocracy on contribution” 
  38. 38. It continues.. forged in the fire Incident or Dire Need Builds & Refines Sahana Urgent Community Requirements Sahana Software Attracts & Grows
  39. 39. Incidents Sahana has responded to Gov-NADRA, for Asian Quake in Pakistan – 2005  Officially deployed and integrated to NADRA (Pakistan  Government) to track all victims Gov, 3 Disaster in Philippines – 2006  Officially deployment to track all victims with by Philippines  Government + pre-deployment Yogjarkata Earthquake, Indonesia – 2006  Deployed by ACS, Indonesian Reliefsource  NYC prepardness in US – 2007  New york city evacuation management  Gov, Earthquake, Peru – 2007  Gov, Shizuan Earthuake in China – 2008  Deployed by Police to reunite families  Sahana Downloaded overs 25,000 times
  40. 40. Lessons Learned on Deployment System should be endorsed and/or  authorized by Government (and UN) IT Literacy and User familiarity  System should be easy to install  If possible pre-deploy and train!  A Sahana local response team is ideal  Local cultural and operational knowledge  Build resilient systems (=> simple, flexible)  Standards are very important for  acceptance
  41. 41. It continues.. forged in the fire Incident or Dire Need Builds & Refines Sahana Urgent Community Requirements Software + Best Practices Attracts & Grows
  42. 42. Endorsements and Awards New Free Software Foundation (FSF) award for  “Social Benefit” won and inspired by Sahana Sourceforge Project of the Month, June 2006  Software 2006, CA USA Good Samaritan Award  One of the top 10 Open Source Project to keep  an eye on – Network World article Recognized by forums such as:  − US WSIS, ISCRAM, UNDP IOSN, StrongAngel, AsiaOSS Symposium, Emergency Communications Asia
  43. 43. The Community Spreads (2007) An Open Global Community (300+)
  44. 44. The 4 Communities of Sahana Emergency Free & Open Management Source Community Community SAHANA Humanitarian Academic Community Research (NGOs) Community
  45. 45. Different Perspectives of the elephant “Innovative “Cool LAMP but not mature Development EM System” Platform!” SAHANA “A great “By the Research Community POC for the Platform” Community”
  46. 46. PMC and Board is Formed 2007 LSF institutes the PMC and Board  To take Sahana to the next level  Sahana Committee => PMC  Board is appointed by LSF  Open Source and EM Profiles + Some PMC  members This group was given the mandate to take  Sahana to the next level
  47. 47. In Conclusion Sahana was and continues to be forged in  the fire (it keeps it very real) Sahana Neutral A-Political Solution where  ownership is given to the end user The FOSS benefits align to humanitarian  values very well A diverse community is fundamental to the  continued success of the project Sahana is now more than just Software 
  48. 48. Take Part in the R-Evolution Join us in taking Sahana to the next level Join the Sahana Community! http://www.sahana.lk
  49. 49. Sahana has different priorities Enterprise Application Sahana Multi-Node, Many Replicable Mobile Single- Dependant Fixed Nodes Node with low spec Deployment and high concurrency hardware require + USB Compiled for efficiency Low learning curve, easily and legacy mature modifiable scripting Technology programming language language Simple “Intuitive” Self contained complex Architecture with OS Architecture with high dependencies and low Architecture cyclometic complexity cyclomatic complexity Low network throughput Highly interactive, XHTML UI accessible on User Interface responsive RIA application PDAs
  50. 50. APPENDIX

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