Iscram 2007 humanitarian-foss case disaster management


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ISCRAM 2007 presentation on Sahana

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Iscram 2007 humanitarian-foss case disaster management

  1. 1. Humanitarian-FOSS: Case Study On Disaster Management ISCRAM 2007 Delft, Netherlands, May 13-16 2007 Chamindra de Silva Acting Executive Director, Lanka Software Foundation Sahana Project Lead Sri Lanka
  2. 2. Agenda • Humanitarian Response • The Problem of Multi-Agency Coordination • How can I.T. help • Disaster Management: Sahana Project • What is FOSS? • The alignment of FOSS for Humanitarian Needs • How it works: the software, the community • Humanitarian-FOSS Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  3. 3. Humanitarian Response • Humanitarian Response – Is the practice of saving lives and alleviating suffering – It is usually related to emergency response whether in the case of a natural disaster or a man-made disaster such as war or other armed conflict – Characterized by multi-agency, multi-national relief response for large disasters “ Today, no walls can separate humanitarian or human rights crises in one part of the world from national security crises in another. What begins with the failure to uphold the dignity of one life all too often ends with a calamity for entire nations ” - Kofi Annan Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  4. 4. Humanitarian Response Government Relief NGOs, INGOs Local Relief Government Ministries, Red Cross, CARE, Religious Spontaneous volunteers, Police, Army, Fire fighters, Groups, Sarvodaya corporate village + Well trained + focused on people communities, friends and + Authorized coord + trusted to accept aid family + Accountable +/- less well trained + first responders +/- Big picture relief + accountable + lot of capacity (national security) - fragmented / + instant aid - Procedures create disconnected - not trained bottlenecks - sometimes competing - focus unknown - Overloaded - not accountable Effective Collaboration and Coordination! Relief Victims
  5. 5. When is Relief Chaotic? • Signs of a Large Scale Disaster – When the relief needs overwhelms existing Gov and Emergency Management resources • Local emergency management infrastructure is can also be destroyed − When multi-Agency response is critically needed  100s of NGOs and foreign aid groups arrive simultaneously to help the relief effort  1000s of parallel and independent relief tasks to coordinate − When the official disaster coordinator is overwhelmed  lack of bandwidth => coordination delays =>  lack of information => lack of trust Overwhelming amount of information to be collected, sharedHumanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study onresponders and victims and used to empower Disaster Management
  6. 6. How Can IT Help? • Scalable management of information – databases, search, reports and dissemination • Empowerment of responders and victims – The right information at the right time – help the trusted work efficiently • Transparent mediation and coordination – Help responders for multiple agencies self-distribute themselves and provide a balanced response • Live reports for decision makers – Situation awareness Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  7. 7. What is FOSS? • Free and Open Source Software • Free as in Speech, not Free as in Beer – Freedom to access, run, modify and redistribute the software as you wish – Free Software Foundation (FSF) • Open Source – Access to source code or the “software blueprints” – Technical merits of such development – Open Source Initiative (OSI) • The Global Community – Meritocracy on contribution – A melting pot of diverse skills and vocations – Continuity of a society ( a purpose Management ) Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster / meme
  8. 8. Humanitarian <-> FOSS • No Restrictions to deploy and modify – No discrimination on access (Red Cross CC #2) – No time to check for royalties, license costs, etc • Open system => Transparent and trustworthy – Better acceptance than “foreign” proprietary systems – Building local capacities & self-reliance (RC CC #6) – L10N and integration (RC CC #7) • FOSS community/contribution model – “For the community by the community” – The FOSS community model evolves partnerships through natural selection of value provided • Many countries cannot afford or do not invest – Budgeting for a disaster that may or may not happen – This should be a global public good Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  9. 9. The Sahana Project Example • What is it? – A web based portal with sub-applications designed to address the common disaster coordination issues – FOSS (LAMP) • Main Goals – Empower responders and victims with information – Encourage relief agencies to work together on a common platform for managing the disaster Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  10. 10. Coordination Needs Finding missing, injured and displaced people “Please, please help me find my missing parents / child / relative” Who is doing what, where? “We are an NGO with medical services, where can we help?” “Where is there a lack of support and relief services?” Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  11. 11. Coordination Needs Matching pledges of aid to requests from the victims “We need x number of tents not clothes!” “We have medical supply x. Who needs it the most?” Tracking the location, composition and facilities of all temporary shelters, camps, hospitals, etc “Are there any ICU facilities available and how many beds?” “How many infants are need milk powder?” Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  12. 12. Other Key Features • Plugin Architecture and Modules – Volunteer management (Trinity College, USA) – Child Protecting Modules (Terre des Hommes) – Inventory Management System (IBM, Care) – Messaging module: SMS, CAPS • GIS enabled – Google maps, Virtual earth, OpenLayers • XHTML/CSS/AJAX – Accessible from PDAs/Mobile browsers • L10N through web interface • Syncronization through USB Disks • Bootable from LiveCD, LiveUSB, PortableApp Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  13. 13. Pragmatism • Accessible interface – Focus on simplicity and intuitiveness – Translated to your local language • Low Hardware costs – Can be run on most old computer – Software is free • Mobility – Can run on a laptop without Internet access – Low power requirement (80W) – Can be supplemented by mobile solar power units • Efficient data exchange – Through USB drives, internet, CDs etc Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  14. 14. Sample Deployment Model • Centralized for authorized coordinators – Inter-connected through the Internet • Data collection distributed – Paper Forms, other manual means • Data entry distributed or centralized – Can be done with volunteers Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  15. 15. Sahana Deployment • CNO, for Tsunami in Sri Lanka – 2005 – Officially deployed and track 26,000 families • NADRA, for Asian Quake in Pakistan – 2005 – Officially deployed and integrated to NADRA (Pakistan Government) to track all victims • For Landslide disaster in Philippines– 2006 – Officially deployment to track all victims with by Philippines Government + pre-deployment • Pre-deployment in Sarvodaya, Sri Lanka – Customization for Sahana requirements • Yogjarkata Earthquake, Indonesia – 2006 – Deployed by ACS, Indonesian Reliefsource Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  16. 16. How the software is built? • Requirements and Domain leadership – Community of Humanitarian Consultants, Emergency Management Practitioners, Academics – Live disasters, NGO and Gov stakeholders • Research – Academics from Sri Lanka, US, Netherlands • Development & Testing – Modular plugin architecture – Meritocracy on contribution similar to Apache Model – Code/Usability conventions & QA rigor • Scenario based packaging – Mobile, Camp, Coordination Hub, Helpdesk, WarehouseHumanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  17. 17. Few Lessons Learned on Deployment • Get the system officially authorized – Promoted through the central relief coordinating authority designated by the Government • Encourage data centralization and sharing – Between government, NGO, UN, etc – promote integration to trusted groups • Securing the Perimeter vs Accessibility – Solid ACLs and perimeter security is needed • Pre-deployment is best – Otherwise L10N and customization on the fly • Build simple, resilient response strategies – 1 Laptop, 1 Wireless LAN, Car battery Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  18. 18. Lessons Learned on using FOSS • Give practitioners the OS they find comfortable – Often a Windows XP + WAMP + Sahana – Or Windows XP + Sahana PortableApp • Passionate community of contributors – The merger of two passionate/strong willed communities • Easy acceptance from user orgs – Free(dom), Transparent, Transfer of ownership • Scepticism – 24x7 Support, Information Security Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  19. 19. Humanitarian-FOSS • A Definition – The application of Free and Open Source Software to help solve problems with regard to alleviating suffering and saving lives • Recognition of Concept – Free Software Foundation Award for Social Benefit inspired by Sahana (and won recently) – UNDP IOSN • Community – 150+ Emergency Management Practitioners, Humanitarian Consultants, Academics, Students – Humanitarian User Groups (HUGs) Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management
  20. 20. Summary • Humanitarian-FOSS – When creating IT solutions for humanitarian problems always consider doing it as FOSS and sharing/improving it as a global public good. • Sahana is an example of: – How I.T. can bring significant efficiencies to the coordination / collaboration effort in a large disaster – A successful global partnership of practitioners and volunteers working together to provide a solution for the common good – The benefit of Humanitarian-FOSS Humanitarian-FOSS: A Case Study on Disaster Management