These were some extremely fascinating GIS solutions on display at SA III. These two videos capture Google Earth and the ways in which it was used in SA III. The video is from an afternoon debrief, so it’s not at all representative of the range of uses that GIS is being used for as part of the on-going activities of SA III.
Question is, how many of these technologies, which rely on high bandwidth data transfers, high definition wide screen and large format LCD screens, and high resolution large format printers for their output, can survive for more than a day in a real humanitarian crisis? The essential fragility of some of the equipment, for instance, make them only useful for command and control centres located in urban centres.
More important to me, and what I really haven’t seen at SA III, is a simple A4 sheet, that can be photocopied and given to first responders with their primary information needs (needs, resources, dangers).
An Ashoka, Rotary World Peace and TED Fellow, I have since 2002 used, studied and advocated Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) to strengthen peace, human rights & democratic governance.
I founded in 2006 and till June 2020 edited the award-winning Groundviews, Sri Lanka's first civic media website. From 2002-2020 I was a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Policy Alternatives. I pioneered both the use of social media for activism and online citizen journalism/civic media in Sri Lanka, including setting up South Asia's first Twitter and Facebook accounts for civic media, in 2007. Having started digital security training for human rights activists in 2010, I continue to advise civil society on digital hygiene, mass and personal surveillance, privacy and secure communications to date. I also curate a comprehensive digital archive of material linked to peace and conflict in Sri Lanka, since 2002.
I specialise in, advise and train on social media communications strategy, countering-violence extremism online, web-based activism, online advocacy and grounded, context-based, platform-specific social media research. My work experience over two-decades spans five continents.
Through the ICT4Peace Foundation and since 2006, I help strengthen information management during crises and work on countering violent extremism online. For over a decade, this included leading the Foundation's work on these lines with the United Nations and other multi-lateral organisations involved in peacebuilding, peacekeeping, and humanitarian affairs.
Since 2008, I have worked in South Asia, South East Asia, North Africa, Europe and the Balkans to capture, disseminate and archive inconvenient truths in austere, violent contexts.
I completed doctoral studies at the University of Otago, New Zealand, looking at the symbiotic relationship between offline unrest and online instigation of hate and harm in Sri Lanka and, in the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre in 2019, facilitated by leading research based on New Zealand's first ever Data for Good grant by Twitter.
View all posts by Sanjana