Red Cross

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2 Tech Tools for Emergencies from our Westgate Experience: Ping and Blood Donation

Erik Hersman | Ushahidi Blog | September 24, 2013

As we mentioned yesterday, it’s been a bit of a crazy few days in Nairobi. The full Ushahidi team met yesterday (many virtually, of course), and we talked about many issues surrounding the Westgate siege and our own tools. This lead us to then think through our skills and tools, and where we could be useful. Two thoughts came immediately to mind: Read More »

Bill Gates Won’t Save You From The Next Ebola

Robert Fortner | Huffington Post | April 30, 2017

In late August 2014, Tom Frieden, then director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traveled to West Africa to assess the raging Ebola crisis. In the five months before Frieden’s visit, Ebola had spread from a village in Guinea, across borders and into cities in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Médecins Sans Frontières, the first international responder on the scene, had run out of staff to treat the rising numbers of sick people and had deemed the outbreak “out of control” back in June...

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Bill Gates Won’t Save You From The Next Ebola Outbreak

Robert Fortner and Alex Park | HuffPost | May 1, 2017

In late August 2014, Tom Frieden, then director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traveled to West Africa to assess the raging Ebola crisis. In the five months before Frieden’s visit, Ebola had spread from a village in Guinea, across borders and into cities in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Médecins Sans Frontières, the first international responder on the scene, had run out of staff to treat the rising numbers of sick people and had deemed the outbreak “out of control” back in June...

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Crowd-Funding Draws Donations For Sandy Relief

Brett Zongker | ABC News | December 22, 2012

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, some who lost their homes or businesses have turned to crowd-funding websites to elicit a faster and more direct response than they could expect from the government or traditional charities. Read More »

From Coding To Tangible Results: FEMA’s First Open Data Town Hall

Jason Lindesmith | FEMA | April 11, 2014

The approach to FEMA’s first-ever Data Town Hall was refreshing because our OpenFEMA team harked just as much about project management and results as they did about getting creative when using FEMA’s data. The attendees were asked to break into five challenge tracks: GIS, Disaster Assistance Assessment Dashboard, Accessibility, API and Fire Viz; each with a specific project and private sector team lead.

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Hackathons Bring Open Source Innovation to Humanitarian Aid

In open source software, end users, decision makers, subject matter experts, and developers from around the world can work together to create great solutions. There are a lot of mature open source projects out there already in the field of humanitarian and development aid, for example: Ushahidi and Sahana in crisis management and information gathering, OpenMRS for medical records, Martus for secure information sharing in places with limited freedom of speech, and Mifos X, an open platform for financial inclusion for people in poor areas where financial services such as savings, payments, and loans are not offered...

How Disaster Relief Efforts Could Be Improved with Game Theory

The number of disasters has doubled globally since the 1980s, with the damage and losses estimated at an average US$100 billion a year since the new millennium, and the number of people affected also growing. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was the costliest natural disaster in the U.S., with estimates between $100 billion and $125 billion. The death toll of Katrina is still being debated, but we know that at least 2,000 were killed, and thousands were left homeless. Worldwide, the toll is staggering. The triple disaster of an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown that started March 11, 2011 in Fukushima, Japan killed thousands, as did the 2010 Haiti earthquake...

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How Online Mapmakers are Helping the Red Cross Save Lives in the Philippines

Robinson Meyer | The Atlantc | November 12, 2013

It will be months before we know the true damage brought about by super typhoon Haiyan. The largest death tolls now associated with the storm are only estimates. Aid workers from across the world are now flying to the island nation, or they just recently arrived there. Read More »

How Open Source Helped Beat Ebola

Jason Deign | Cisco | October 19, 2016

More than 10,000 dead, hundreds of thousands affected, and a world paralyzed with fear at the prospect of contagion. It is hard to fully grasp the impact of the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and the valor of those who put their own lives on the line to save the lives of others. But among the countless stories of human tragedy and heroism, it's now known what a vital role open-source software played in supporting doctors during critical times...

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IBM Commits $30 Million Towards Open Source Disaster Response Tech

Press Release | IBM, David Clark Cause | May 24, 2018

IBM and partners today launched the Call for Code Global Initiative, the largest and most ambitious effort to bring startup, academic and enterprise developers together to solve one of the most pressing societal issues of our time: preventing, responding to and recovering from natural disasters. During a keynote address at the VivaTech Conference in Paris, IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty called on the technology industry to help build a better future, committing IBM technology and $30 million USD over five years in the annual Call for Code Global Initiative. Its goal is to unite the world's developers and tap into data and AI, blockchain, cloud and IoT technologies to address social challenges.

Interview with Andrej Verity on the Humanitarian.ID Crisis App

One of the most exciting parts of working in tech is seeing firsthand how it empowers people to solve previously indomitable problems. But the best solutions don’t just materialize on their own — they must be driven forward, often against major odds, by passionate individuals and organizations dedicated to making them a reality. Over the past year, we’ve had the honor of working with Andrej Verity of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), who is just such a person. We sat down to talk to him about Humanitarian.ID, the contact management application that transforms how responders coordinate during humanitarian disasters.

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OpenStreetMap Community Helps With Nepal Earthquake Response

Since the devastating earthquake in Nepal, there have been responses from all over the world from relief agencies, governments, non-profits, and ordinary citizens. One interesting effort has been from the crowdsourced mapping community, especially on OpenStreetMap.org, a free and open web map of the world that anyone can edit (think the Wikipedia of maps.) Read More »

The Future Of Crisis Data

Jonathon Morgan | Ushahidi | May 20, 2014

The excitement around big data for social good is palpable, and its capacity for change is enormous. However, in order to realize this capacity the humanitarian community needs to embrace a fundamental shift in the relationship between data and crisis...

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Tracking An Ebola Outbreak In A City Without Maps

Sarah Zhang | Gizmodo | April 11, 2014

If you Google Map Guéckédou, the Guinean city smack dab in the Ebola virus's deadly domain right now, you'd see just an abstract blotch of beige and yellow. Zoom all the way in on satellite view, and you can barely make out the outlines of buildings.

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Using Data to Bridge Gaps in the Humanitarian Sector

Nathaniel Manning | Devex | June 14, 2016

In humanitarian crisis response, we often don’t focus enough of our efforts on assessing needs and asking questions. In the wake of disaster, we instead get tunnel vision focused on delivering services as quickly and to as many people as possible. To help break that pattern, the relief industry has recently become fascinated with data. But we need to ask ourselves what data is truly helpful, actually useful, really helps us improve our impact, and better aids our beneficiaries. We often get excited about uncovering gems in big data archives. But the reality is that the most important and useful data is the real time feedback from those we serve...

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