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Emergency Information Systems: Thomson Reuters Fnd. & InSTEDD


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Presentation given at ISCRAM 2010

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Emergency Information Systems: Thomson Reuters Fnd. & InSTEDD

  1. 1. EMERGENCY INFORMATION SERVICES (EIS) Eduardo Jezierski Engineering, InSTEDD [email_address] Skype: eduardojezierski @edjez With tech support of…
  2. 2. INFORMATION TO SAVE LIVES <ul><li>EIS is a free information service for populations affected by disasters </li></ul><ul><li>To help the people recover by giving them access to information that will enable them to make decisions </li></ul>
  3. 3. INFORMATION TO SAVE LIVES <ul><li>What kind of information? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fast, practical and verified information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Always in local languages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is the scale of the disaster? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Which areas have been affected? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is safe to move to another area? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Are transportation links/infrastructure damaged? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Where should people seek refuge? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Where are the food distribution points? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Where are people find clean water? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What medical facilities are available and where? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What do people do if they have missing relatives? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. THE EIS SYSTEM Individual Messages RSS (geo, tags) Email Digest summaries
  5. 5. What can survivors do with EIS? <ul><li>Subscribe by texting a local number </li></ul><ul><li>Receive free, location-specific SMS alerts and information </li></ul><ul><li>Text information into the system </li></ul><ul><li>People outside the disaster zone can add loved ones’ numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Can unsubscribe at any time </li></ul><ul><li>Information received in local languages and dialects </li></ul>
  6. 6. What can relief responders do? <ul><li>Monitor raw information from government, local media, aid groups and survivors </li></ul><ul><li>Set up filters (by keywords, tags, topics, locations or time) </li></ul><ul><li>Crowdsource the Diaspora (translate, map, tag as needed) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As we did in Haiti </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Share own content via RSS, email and SMS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SMS alerts, email alerts, email Digests daily/weekly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Manage own collaborative work spaces (e.g. around field assessments submitted by SMS) </li></ul><ul><li>Map, tag, prioritise, aggregate and annotate raw information locally or remotely </li></ul>
  7. 7. And local journalists? <ul><li>All of the above, plus… </li></ul><ul><li>Receive EIS bulletins by SMS, email or RSS (for repackaging or straight dissemination to local audiences) </li></ul><ul><li>Two-way radio bulletins </li></ul><ul><li>Radio broadcast support through digests </li></ul>
  8. 8. Key Learnings from Indonesia & Haiti <ul><li>Telco Preparedness </li></ul><ul><li>Interoperability & Information Flow </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration & Reliable flow of needs from the ground </li></ul><ul><li>Governance and Decision Making </li></ul><ul><li>Tech capacity on the ground </li></ul>
  9. 10. Eric Rasmussen and Nico di Tada, partners from InSTEDD
  10. 12. Help and information requests
  11. 13. Empowering vulnerable populations with information Relevance : Geographic, demographic, timeliness Dialogue : Keep a 2-way channel open
  12. 14. How does the system work for the TRF team? <ul><li>Intelligent processing of multiple information streams </li></ul><ul><li>Complete workflow from writing and translation through editing and publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Send SMS alerts to specific groups and locations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As targeted as desired: geo, category of message, profession </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited by our assessment of the message content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Send longer information by email and RSS </li></ul><ul><li>Local or global workflows (or combination of both) </li></ul><ul><li>Manage external working groups and assign permissions </li></ul><ul><li>Translate interface into any language </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible configurations for different communications conditions </li></ul>
  13. 15. Home page for EIS Haiti ~100.000 items as of 28 February 2010 12 feed sources ~25,000 subscribers Sending ~80,000+ messages a day
  14. 16. Power of Algorithms Suggest from learnt behaviors Accelerate sifting through data Feature Extraction, Classification, Clustering Wisdom of the Crowds Large base of data & work Hyperlocal knowledge Strength in numbers Instinct of the Experts Cross-sector contributions of specialized knowledge, Curation of a ‘live news’ Prioritize Teach Teach Suggest Prioritize Annotate Ground-truth Crowds + Experts + Algorithms
  15. 17. Translation of a broadcast message…
  16. 18. Experts using information to create an operational picture
  17. 19. Machine, know thy place… Design precept: machines suggest, humans commit
  18. 20. Beyond EIS & looking at the ecosystem Hamish, MapAction – source of EIS entrapment localization requests
  19. 22. Anastasia Moloney describing EIS at the UN Humanitarian Forum