Author Archives: Helena

OCHA South Sudan Deployment: Curating Data for Disaster Preparedness

On Monday, July 2nd, the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHNetwork) received a request for activation from UN OCHA’s Coordinated Assessment Support Section. OCHA is responsible for leading the development of some of the first information products when a crisis hits. These products define the initial situation at a multi-sectoral level helping guide the delivery of goods [...]
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SBTF presentation at Understanding Risk: conflict sensitive crowdsourcing

[Cross-posted from Helena's blog.] This week I spoke at the Understanding Risk conference in Cape Town on a panel that explored successes and difficulties in the application of crowdsourcing for development and disaster risk reduction, together with colleagues from Humanitarian Open Street Map, the Public Laboratory, Ushahidi, Idibon and the World Bank. I focused on the particular challenges of conflict sensitive crowdsourcing. [...]
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Testing UNOSAT’s Cybermappr tool

[This is a guest blog post by Lars Bromley, Analyst at UNOSAT] Dear SBTF, I wanted to convey my deep appreciation for the time that you recently spent testing and offering suggestions for the Cybermappr tool under development by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research / Operational Satellite Applications Program (UNITAR/UNOSAT) and the [...]
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Samoa Simulation SBTF After-Action Report

The Samoan Government and Samoa HEAL, with the support of UN-SPIDER, ran a simulation of early warning and emergency response to a cyclone in Samoa on December 2 - 3. On December 2, the simulation focused on a traditional table top exercise. On December 3, the simulation involved VTCs, exploring how their contributions could [...]
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Standby Human Resources

SBTF volunteers have consistently demonstrated they are a reliable, hard working and creative bunch. On little notice, they are willing to put in hours of their free time, all the while holding a job / writing a PhD / entertaining three toddlers. Their encouragement and interaction with similar volunteers comes through a computer screen - [...]
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This year’s International Conference of Crisis Mappers in Geneva just finished. The creation of the SBTF was announced at last year’s ICCM. Many SBTF volunteers were not able to make the conference and we wanted everyone to be present in a small way… so we set up this map:   Over the past two days, volunteers have been reporting on what [...]
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Testing new crowd sourcing software and micro-tasking workflows

  Haiti SMS Exercise Briefing from notgeorge on Vimeo. You can view here the video and audio of the pre-exercise briefing for the Camp Roberts / RELIEF Humanitarian Technology event, which some SBTF volunteers were involved in. The SMS exercise brought together volunteers from around the world to process text messages that were received during [...]
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Libya Crisis Map: 3rd Situation Report

Taskforce Report: Libya Crisis Map Date: March 8 (reports at 12pm EST) Summary Over 450 unique reports mapped; no new 3Ws information added since last report The pattern of reports in the past 48-72 hours shows a shift in the conflict: it is becoming more intense.  Since March 6, reports on armed attacks, armed [...]
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The security and ethics of live mapping in repressive regimes and hostile environments (updated February 15)

Some (TF) volunteers have recently been involved in mapping events around the demonstrations taking place in North Africa (Tunisia, Egypt and Sudan), at the specific request of local activists. None of these activities have called for a full deployment of the Task Force, but they have raised some important questions. There may [...]
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Connecting the crowd: notes on Sudan Vote Monitor

Here’s one thing I’ve learned from working to support Sudan Vote Monitor (SVM): the crowd is always there, but it needs to be connected to be a source. Sounds simple, but things would have gone very differently if more had been done to connect the crowd to SVM. A few weeks ago, the SBTF mobilised [...]
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