Linked to UN OCHA +5 Symposium – Where was the innovation?, I thought of listing some practices, technologies and their application in the field that interest me because of their potential for augmenting peacebuilding and conflict transformation, that I believe has broad overlap with the imperatives of humanitarian aid.
While none of the examples below are a definitive guide on the use of ICT for humanitarian aid, collectively they point to the indubitable trend of decentralised, collaborative information and knowledge exchange in support of timely, appropriate and sustainable action.
Many of the following point to that which I’ve written on this blog, but the published work of and progressive thinking of those such as Paul Currion, Nigel Snoad from Microsoft Humanitarian Systems Group and Eric Rasmussen, now CEO of INSTEDD, prove that a few (powerful) thought-leaders fully immersed in this sector concur with that which is presented below.
The posts below also contain many more links to pertinent information. Further, though some of them may appear to be oriented towards peacebuilding, political activism or media, the essential technology can easily be adapted for humanitarian aid related work.
- Emergency response information systems: emerging trends and technologies: Open source software for disaster management
- Open Source Disaster Recovery: Case Studies of networked collaboration
- Community based, community driven disaster and humanitarian response
- Real world example of short message driven relief work and needs assessments
GIS and Data Visualisation
- The Encyclopedia of Life: Information visualisation
- DARPA’s GALE and the new generation of information analysis systems
- Yahoo!’s Time Capsule and farming knowledge
- Reuters AlertNet: Interactive maps on conflict, humanitarian crises and more
- Indexing knowledge – Designing search engines for conflict and peace research
- Social networks poised to shape Net’s future & information visualisation
- Dropping knowledge = wisdom of the crowds? (Scroll down to section on the “Living Library”)
- Strong Angel III – Videos on GIS
- San Diego County Fires – KPBS Online (Google Maps mashup)
Second Life and virtual worlds
- Avatars and Politics: Using Second Life for political activism?
- Virtual worlds and VOIP
- Second Life – Business, ODR, Language and Peace
Mobile Phones and mobile devices
- Mobile phone futures
- SMS alerts during emergencies – Lessons from Sri Lanka’s tsuanmi alert on 13 September 2007
- Mesh networking mobile phones
- Impact of technology on humanitarian work
- The impact of the camera phone
- Mobile phones augmenting reality
- ‘Warning, storm ahead … TNX’
- SMS for one, or all
Citizen journalism with affected communities / victims
- Citizen Journalism and humanitarian aid: Bane or boon?
- Strong Angel III – Interview with Dan Gilmor
- Last mile & first mile, access & production
- CA Wildfire Coverage: Intriguing Online Approaches
- Nokia N93i and Citizen Journalism in Sri Lanka
And lastly, the plethora of lessons identified and innovations at Strong Angel III.