NAIROBI, 14 April 2015 (IRIN) - The cyclone-hit Pacific islands of Vanuatu are the latest proving ground for new information technology and the digital humanitarian volunteers that are now an integral part of disaster response.
When Cyclone Pam, a Category 5 storm, tore through the island chain last month bringing surging seas and 250 kmh winds, a network of humanitarian data technicians quickly mobilized along with the traditional aid responders.
Snapshot 9–14 April 2015
Afghanistan: Security incidents have spiked in early April, after the announcement that more NATO troops would remain in the country than originally scheduled. NATO convoys were targeted in Nangarhar and Kabul on 10 April. On the same day, five NGO staff were found dead, having been abducted in Uruzgan province in early March.
By Magdalena Mis
LONDON, April 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Countries looking for cheap earthquake warning systems might want to try apps and smartphones after scientists discovered that smartphones could be used as an affordable alternative to sophisticated earthquake monitoring networks.
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OXFORD, 10 avril 2015 (IRIN) - Un camion transportant des médicaments essentiels vers un camp de réfugiés isolé situé près de la frontière entre la Mauritanie et le Mali se renverse pendant son trajet de 2 000 kilomètres à travers le Sahara. C’est la saison des pluies et la moitié de la cargaison est endommagée par la boue et inutilisable.
ROMA – El Programa Mundial de Alimentos de las Naciones Unidad (PMA) y Global Pulse – iniciativa del Secretario General de la ONU para impulsar la innovación - se han unido para abordar el modo en que los datos provenientes del uso de teléfonos móviles puede prestar apoyo en la lucha contra el hambre e impulsar esfuerzos humanitarios.
World Food Programme (WFP), Global Pulse, Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and Real Impact Analytics recently collaborated on a project to analyse the potential use of mobile phone data as a proxy for food security and poverty indicators.
ROME - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Global Pulse – an innovation initiative of the UN Secretary-General – have teamed up to deliver powerful insights into how data from mobile phone usage could support networks in fighting hunger and boosting humanitarian response efforts.
The research projects focused on analyzing the link between mobile phone usage and hunger. Their findings will be presented at Netmob Conference for Scientific Analysis of Mobile Phone Data at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this week.
In this blog, Gabrielle Solanet of Search for Common Ground introduces the reader to FrontlineSMS technology and how SFCG is using it in Africa to monitor and strengthen media programs, and track incidences of conflict.
Ben Leo, Robert Morello, Jonathan Mellon, Tiago Peixoto, and Stephen Davenport
By Kristy Siegfried
OXFORD, 2 April 2015 (IRIN) - A truck carrying vital medicines to a remote refugee camp near Mauritania’s border with Mali overturns during its 2,000 kilometre journey through the Sahara desert. It is the rainy season and half the consignment is damaged by mud and no longer usable.
Incidents like this one are rare but calamitous when you consider it can take up to six months to deliver essential drugs to refugees and internally displaced people in far-flung parts of the globe.
By: María Mercedes Martínez
Central America has been the site of many disasters, resulting not only in loss of life but also increased vulnerability and poverty. To address this growing threat, governments in the region have placed an increasing focus on disaster preparedness and mutual assistance, including by developing a Regional Mechanism of Mutual Aid in the Event of Disasters (MECREG) within the Central American Comprehensive Risk Management Policy. However, they have also recognized that more must be done.
Snapshot 25–31 March 2015
Ukraine: Fears are growing of a new offensive in Mariupol, as non-government troops appear to be gathering nearby. A recent assessment has found that more than 1.6 million people need humanitarian assistance, nearly 1.1 million of whom are in non-government-controlled areas. 20–30% of IDPs are at risk of losing their status and benefits, due to a new mechanism to verify the addresses of IDPs.
At Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, many sessions were held relating to mobile for development (m4d) and ICT for development (ICT4D), as well as those focussing on the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter. In this blog post John Warnes, Technology Officer at the CDAC Network Secretariat, explores how some of the topics discussed in a session on addressing the digital divide and connecting the next billion could potentially impact future work on communicating with disaster affected communities.
This update seeks to support growth in innovative policy, practice and partnerships in humanitarian action to better communicate with disaster-affected communities. Readers are encouraged to forward this email through their own networks.
Vanuatu – Are we communicating with cyclone affected communities?
Myanmar – Rakhine State community focus group discussions.
Philippines - Facebook goes free-of-charge with Smart Communications.
A tablet device that can withstand being doused in chlorine has been developed to help medics caring for patients with Ebola.
Designed by technology volunteers and Google, it can be used even wearing gloves and in storms and high humidity.
Medecins Sans Frontieres put out a call for an Ebola-proof tablet to help teams record vital patient information.
We live in a Digital Age that gives us instant access to information at greater and greater volumes. The rapid growth of digital content and tools is already changing how we create, consume and distribute knowledge. Even though globally participation in the Digital Age remains uneven, more and more people are accessing and contributing digital content every day.
Migration has been and always will be a fact of life; we have to ensure that it is also a safe process that does not negatively impact the health of migrants and host communities. Population mobility influences, guides and supports economic and social development, social stability, and the greater integration of global processes in countries of origin, transit, destination and return. The healthier migrants are, the more efficient and balanced the future of our integrated and globalized world will be.
"Women are not simply a resource for Disaster Risk Reduction efforts, human or economic. Women are stakeholders, rights-holders, decision-makers and must be recognised as such." - Ms Adi Vasulevu Merewalasi FemLINKPACIFIC.
14 March 2015, Sendai, Japan - A voice sharing lessons learnt from the rural women of Fiji was heard from the front stage at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.