Community based, community driven disaster and humanitarian response

Community 9-11

During incidents like Hurricane Katrina, the Kobe earthquake, the British foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, and the Indonesian tsunami, communities collaborated via the Internet to provide supplies and assistance to those in need of help, which is what Shneiderman and Preece are looking to create. Under the proposed project, the web sites will be run by “trained volunteers with a few professionals, much as volunteer fire departments now operate,” according to the proposition in Science magazine. The sites would accept text, video, and photos from the community to help emergency crews react more quickly to disasters as well as inform others of the status of the situation via the web. “Citizen reporters would report to a centralized authority who will take care of emergency response coordination and allocate scarce resources of police fire and medical services,” Professor Shneiderman told BBC News.

A story on ArsTechnica and BBC alerts us to the possibilities of mobiles, new media and citizen journalism in support of humanitarian operations and disaster relief.

Also see:
How much information should we share in peacebuilding and humanitarian operations?
Wikis, Webs and Networks: Creating Connections for Conflict-Prone Settings
Is Technology Neutral?

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