Crowdsourcing for Emergency response

Again this article in the Guardian: How remote teams can help the rapid response to disasters talks about crowds used for helping emergency response after a major disaster.  After Haiti, the users trained to OpenStreetMap used it again for Japan tragedy.

A report on humanitarian and volunteer technical groups co-operating after the 2010 Haiti earthquake could make a big improvement to the planning and effectiveness of response work

A crowdsourced map of Haiti

A crowdsourced map of Haiti created by volunteers following the 2010 earthquake. Photograph: OpenStreetMap

When catastrophe strikes, for the humanitarian aid community it often seems like we’re caught in a race – against time, and in difficult conditions – to identify needs, deliver supplies and save lives. Understanding the environment in which we’re trying to do this – whether Haiti, Pakistan, Libya, or, most recently, Japan – is the key to ensuring that our response is timely, appropriate and life-saving.


This is why I am excited about the publication on Monday of Disaster Relief 2.0: The Future of Information Sharing in Humanitarian Emergencies, a groundbreaking report we commissioned with the UN Foundation and Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership.

UN emergency relief co-ordinator Valerie Amos and the report partners are launching the report at the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development (Dihad) conference. The theme of the conference is his year is: “New technologies: how these impact humanitarian and development operations”.

Don’t hesitate to join them!

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