What was the main topic of this Briefing?
This Briefing took a closer look at how crisis mapping helps in understanding past conflicts, in responding to present international crises, and in preventing future disasters and emergencies. Our expert panel explained the technical logistics behind crisis mapping, lessons learned from past crises, and what can be done to assess and build upon the successes so far. An overarching theme throughout the session was the imperative responsibility that NGOs and people on the ground have to work together in order to provide the greatest assistance to those in critical need.
Key Points Raised By Our Panel Included:
• The many volunteer opportunities available for NGOs who want to get involved with crisis mapping, including joining organizations like Crisis Mappers to engage directly in volunteer mapping
• The significant role that NGOs and people at the local level can play in looking beyond their own organizations and in “breaking boundaries” to make technology work more efficiently.
• That on the issue of crisis mapping, information and aid are equal; without the information, aid cannot be provided to the people who need it
• Four suggestions for how NGOs can help :
o Wait for the professional needs assessment reports to come out so as to provide more effective targeted assistance
o Send cash rather than in kind contributions: it is quicker and easier to move to those in need
o Think recovery: Help Haiti now: don’t just focus on the emergency phase
o Get involved with groups like InterAction so as to more efficiently coordinate emergency assistance
Who were the speakers?
• Jihad Abdalla – an Emergency Officer in the UNICEF/EMOPS (Office of Emergency Programmes)
• Sara Farmer – the Chief Technical Officer of Change Assembly, a start-up company dedicated to improving the availability of human development and crisis data.
• and Scott Madry – a research associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a professor on the resident faculty of the International Space University in Strasbourg France.
• Remarks by H.E. Raimundo Gonzalez Aninat, Ambassador (Chile)
This Briefing was attended by 73 NGO representatives. A question and answer period followed the panel discussion.
Posted in Briefings, Home Page Story, Uncategorized