UPDATE: CrisisCamp Miami took place on 1/23/10, but the work continues. Please be sure to check out the “Voices of the Day” page to see if there are comments from any of the wonderful people who took part. And read and follow the “Tweets From Haiti” to hear a sample of voices of those in the crisis. And finally, please use your skills to help – there may be ways you’re not aware of – look at the Resources page for ways to help remotely.
This Saturday (1/23/10), CrisisCamp Miami will bring together volunteers to collaborate on technology projects which aim to assist in Haiti’s relief efforts by providing data, information, maps and technical assistance to NGOs, relief agencies and the public.
This event is free and open to the public. You don’t have to be technical to volunteer time.
CrisisCamp doors open at 12:00pm and introductions are at 12:30pm.
Please register for this event at:
*Welcome to CrisisCamp*
CrisisCamp will bring together domain experts, developers, and first responders around improving technology and practice for humanitarian crisis management and disaster relief.
Each and every day, people across the world can find themselves in crisis. Whether it be for a day, a month or an area of social distress, we all have a common need to connect with loved ones, access information and offer assistance to others.
*Help Us Out*
We’re looking for some initial assistance in organizing CrisisCamp. Things we need:
– Sponsorship – We need sponsorship to make this CrisisCamp a reality. If you cannot donate time, please donate what you can or become a sponsor. Unused proceeds will be donated to Haiti relief efforts.
– Venue – We need a free venue with wifi and tables. Please let us know if you have access to a conveniently located venue.
– Audio Visual Equipment – We need a projector and screen to be able to make presentations throughout the day.
*Crisis Camp Topics*
CrisisCamp Miami will focus on helping current relief efforts in Haiti. Some of the initiatives that we will work on include:
**Tweak the Tweet**
Twitter is a tool that allows people with internet or cell phone contact to broadcast messages. The power of Twitter can be harnessed to become a shared communication tool for people on the ground during events, including those affected, volunteers, and emergency responders.
**Port Au Prince Basemap**
The damage of the earthquake has left roads and villages inaccessible. This project will provide new geospatial perspectives and data points to create a base map for non-profits in need of current geospatial information.
**The Haiti Timeline**
There is a great need to fully understand the progression of events, news, data, photos and video from the time of the earthquake through the recovery process. This project is an organic approach at looking at the series of events, types of data available, when actions occurred, status of the events, and who is doing what; this project is constantly changing and adding new information in real time.
**Family Reunification Systems**
When catastrophic events happen, like the earthquake that hit Haiti, people are lost and families are separated. This project focuses on searching for missing persons catalogs, databases, and information pages. The team is providing constructive suggestions for the International community in terms of access for the gathered information.
**NPR Crisis Wiki**
On the ground of any event there is always a need for resources. This project assists National Public Radio to create a Crisis Wiki to share real time information in a collaborative space, much like a yellow pages for resources. The project created a structure that can be used and adapted for future events.
**Mobile Applications 4 Crisis Response**
The projects that we develop at CrisisCamp Haiti are only useful if they’re accessible! The Mobile Applications team is working with other CrisisCamp project teams to make mobile applications for programs and projects. These applications will be useable on mobile phones and will assist users in locating news, resources, language translation, and visual communications tools.
**Language & Translation**
Mainstream online translation tools don’t support the Creole language. This project is dedicated to using technology to assist in translating priority content resources between Creole and English (and other languages) in support of relief assistance and CrisisCamp projects. The team is creating basic machine translation tools for Creole to English and other languages. Native Creole speakers are on the team, assisting with identification of Creole language resources for use in the translation tools. Additionally, the team is assessing and prioritizing content that needs to be translated.
**Mapping NGOs in Action**
NGOs are the “boots on the ground” in Haiti. Hundreds of NGOs have ongoing operations in Haiti. But who’s who and where are they? This project is gathering information to create an overview database of relief assistance that is deployed to Haiti. The project will create a directory of organizations, people on the ground, where they are, what they are doing, and what they need. The team will create a Drupal database relating people to programs.
**We Need, We Have Exchange**
There have been a lot of generous offers from the technology sector and there are a lot of technological needs on the ground. This project, in partnership with the State Department, created a “Craigslist” type of self-identified needs and requests by non-profits assisting in Haiti relief operations and technology volunteers around the world.
CrisisCamp will be hosted in a barcamp style where great minds come together to share their knowledge, perspectives and lessons learned. We will be open to hearing questions and participations through the #crisiscamp hashtag on Twitter.
*Connect with other CrisisCampers*
– Google Group
– Twitter Hash Tag: #crisiscamp
*More Topic Ideas*
CrisisCamp is an unconference, so there is no preset agenda. However, brainstorming before-hand is highly encouraged. Share with others what you’re interested in talking about or hearing about from other experts.
– Increasing need for access to the Internet and mobility during times (and places) of crisis
– Consumer research on mobility (developed countries, and developing countries)
– Special Needs and seniors: Engagement through technology
– Best practices and use of social media in public health and crisis response
– Family locator systems: Open source, PII, data standards
– The global citizen responder – how to harness the cloud volunteer crowd (from across the world!)
– Data aggregation during times of crisis (ex. http://gustav08.ning.com)
– Telecommunications/technology volunteerism – Why? How Can I Help? What is needed?
– Alert and warning — new ways to connect beyond broadcast/radio?
– “IM OK” – connecting with loved ones through technology systems
– Coordinating international humanitarian relief efforts with limited infrastructure; supporting non-profits/NGO community and their need to communicate
*About Crisis Camp*
During Transparency Camp 09 and Government 2.0 Camp, several campers exchanged a host of ideas on the need to better connect people with their social networks and information through the use of technology, especially during times and places of crisis. For example, campers shared how mobile innovation on mobile health and alternative power supplies was happening in Africa. Others shared how how citizens of the cloud used their technical skills to aggregate data to help people (often in another part of the world) synthesize desperate pieces of information into something they could understand. We uncovered a dividing line between international humanitarian relief and domestic crisis response. We saw common themes across all efforts including: the use of mobility, the Internet as a common coordination platform, the need for volunteers and the ability to provide alternative community communications access areas. By the end of the tweet-up, we had 40 volunteers sitting around in a circle with an agreement that there should be a forum to exchange these ideas. And it was there, where a common goal brought government, NGOs, private sector, hackers and activists together to create CrisisCamp.
*Host a CrisisCamp*
We don’t want to be the only CrisisCamp, we hope you will have one too! After CrisisCamp, we will hope to create an information sharing site, a “Crisis Commons” where academic, private sector, government, citizens, international humanitarian relief workers and first responders can come together to share best practices, lessons learned, technology and innovation.
Many thanks to our sponsors for making CrisisCamp happen!