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    elections Since then it has been used to map conflicts and indirectly monitor elections from Colombia to the Democratic Republic of Congo to Afghanistan And more effective than the traditional megaphone is FrontlineSMS a tool used to broadcast emergency information via SMS to anyone in a region with mobile signal In the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami there s been a lot of appreciation of the need for improved early warning systems using technology said UN Foundation Vodafone Foundation partnership spokesperson Adele Waugaman So Sri Lankan authorities sent out a text message and included village chiefs media outlets a number of different touch points recognising that there are plenty of people who don t have mobile phones but that if they knew how to get to the right people they could still get the word out What has emerged from the partnership s report is the value inherent in information coming directly from those people involved in a crisis It highlights the new people centricness of information in disasters said Waugaman Image credits BBC Thousands of duplicate voting cards were discovered in an investigation It means that thanks to innovations tools like Ushahidi FrontlineSMS Twitter and Facebook you re seeing people becoming more and more a primary and trusted source of information in disasters However the new tools can also be used to spread false information when they are used in politically charged situations The challenge with this as we found with Twitter in Tehran surrounding the Iranian elections in June is confusion about the authenticity of information being shared about what was rumour and what was true Waugaman continued To that end the founders of Ushahidi are helping to develop a service called SwiftRiver that aggregates information surrounding a crisis from aid agencies themselves down to the

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/new-tech-tools-can-help-mitigate-conflicts-disasters/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    relayed to the authorities the media and communities likely to be affected Right now we have in place what we call Service Level 1 the earthquake monitoring system We use earthquake monitoring equipment to determine earthquake parameters and the potential for tsunami generation said Fauzi like many Indonesians he goes by only one name head of the Tsunami and Earthquake Centre in Jakarta Service Level 2 the sea level monitoring system is expected to be completed in April 2010 while Service Level 3 tsunami modelling should be in place by 2011 Fauzi said Under the system a tsunami warning will be issued for any undersea earthquake with a Richter scale magnitude of 7 0 or higher and a depth of less than 70 km When earthquake data indicate a potential tsunami computer predictions of the tsunami s height volume and impact will be generated as well as its estimated arrival time at different points along the coast Fauzi said the sea level monitoring system was expected to be completed in 2010 along with the ability to produce predictive information about any tsunamis which might affect Java and Sumatra He said 50 tide gauges had been installed along the coasts of Java Sumatra Sulawesi and the Papua region and 20 more tsunami buoys would be installed across the country in 2010 We have been facing a lot of problems operating the buoys They often break down said Fauzi However Fauzi said he was optimistic the entire system supported by countries such as Germany China France and the USA as well as UN agencies would be ready by 2011 Culture of preparedness Ardito Kodijat programme officer for the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation UNESCO sponsored Jakarta Tsunami Information Centre JTIC said regional capacity and instilling a culture of preparedness could prove

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/indonesia-partially-gets-disaster-ready/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    two teams in the region The World Food Programme operates a similar service When we arrive in the country we establish a telecoms centre for the humanitarian community for them to be able to communicate and have access to internet and phone said Telecoms Sans Frontiere s Catherine Sang We also operate a humanitarian calling operation for the population so they can call their family and friends in the country or abroad she said Ms Sang said that the teams have as yet been unable to set up the network for the general populace due to security concerns Inmarsat a UK based firm that operates a network of satellites received word from the UN just an hour after the initial quake and has begun re allocating satellite time to the region For those with satellite enabled equipment namely aid agencies and the military such extra capacity is vital when traditional communication channels have been damaged or cut off altogether Community service However for the ordinary people in the worst affected areas of Haiti as well as loved ones desperate for information about them the most relevant sources of information are civilians on the ground with some familiar technological tools at their disposal Just seconds after the earthquake people began to send messages from Haiti through Twitter Since then the Twitter group tagged relativesinhaiti has been flooded with traffic from relatives trying to find out about their loved ones from abroad while rescumehaiti is being used to direct rescue efforts where trapped survivors have been located The Red Cross CNN and the New York Times are compiling missing persons databases but the Facebook group Earthquake Haiti has more than 160 000 members Pierre Cote is a journalist based in Haiti who has been contacted by a number of news organisations in the wake of the disaster and who is broadcasting from a studio over the web He conducted an interview with the BBC via the service Skype popular for making voice and video calls over the internet and spoke about his role in communicating about the disaster If I m not doing it no one will do it the traditional media won t do it he said The community need it so for me it s a service to the community to bring it all together Another web based tool that has recently become crucial in disaster relief and information dissemination is Ushahidi Initially the service made its name following the disputed Kenyan elections of 2007 It provides an open source free service which can overlay maps of affected regions with data gathered from a raft of sources Detailed maps can show for instance where aid will be delivered where running water has been cut off or restored or as in the case of Haiti where aftershocks have been reported Data checking However recent experience with the unpoliced nature of these vast streams of data has made clear that not all information can be trusted Among the pictures circulating around the

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/rescue-online-for-haiti-victims/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    that had spread thick and fast during the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923 in Tokyo resulting in the massacre of 6 000 7 000 foreigners by the local Japanese It was this kind of scenario that prompted people like Junichi Hibino to start a community radio station that would not only help in quelling rumour mongering but also provide useful information about relief and other assistance which they were finding hard to get in a characteristically monolingual country The objective was to build a bonding between the Japanese people and the foreigners living in his country as also to serve the needs of the elderly and handicapped people Roxana Oshiro a Japanese Peruvian has been living in Japan since 1991 She was in Kobe when the earthquake struck Although nobody from her family sustained any injuries but the apartment she was living in with her husband had damaged Today she recalls the difficulties she faced in accessing aid information due to her inability to comprehend Japanese language Later when FM YY came into being she not only got benefited by its Spanish language programmes but also decided to be part of it Today she works as a coordinator of the group Comunidad Latina de Hyogo Hyogo Latin Community She is also closely associated with a Spanish magazine called Mujer Latina and with Radio FM YY s Japanese Spanish programme Salsa Latina Image credits OWSA Junichi Hibino Director FM YY Presently serving as the Director of FM YY Hibino appears a humble man The thing that strikes you when you meet him is the languidness in his demeanor He may seem a person not in a hurry but determined enough to reach his destination He speaks slowly choosing his words meticulously so as not to leave room for any ambiguity He speaks his English that is interspersed with plenty of Japanese sounds He outlined three main barriers between Japanese and foreign residents language mental barrier and the governmental support barrier foreign residents are not eligible for many government services During the rescue I had found out how deep seated the ignorance and prejudice among the people were I also witnessed how in shelters when people came in direct contact with each other these barriers got slowly removed So I wanted this process to continue even during normal times he said According to him it is very important to understand the people in the community during normal times It makes it that much easier to work together in times of emergency as in disasters The beginnings Two weeks after the earthquake on January 30 a small radio station FM Yoboseyo meaning hollow in Korean came up in a room of a Korean Culture School just a short distance away from JR Shinnagata Station in Takatori a residential area in Nagata Ward Another radio station was set up in April that year in the grounds of Takatori Catholic Church Volunteer Centre This came to be known as FM Yumen meaning friendship in Vietnamese

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/building-multicultural-society-in-japan/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti MINUSTAH and the working group on Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities CDAC are jointly organising a live TV and radio talk show to discuss the many and complex impacts of the 12 January earthquake The programme will be broadcast nationwide by the independent station Radio Tele Ginen and on the Haiti National Television and Radio RTNH on Thursday 15 July 2010 It will showcase progress made by the Government and the international community six months after the quake the challenges facing Haiti and priorities for the next six months The debate will focus on the challenge outlined by United Nations special envoy for Haiti and Former US President Bill Clinton to build back better It will also tackle the frustrations of the 1 5 million displaced Haitians living in shelters the priorities for the next six months and the long term strategy and challenges in rebuilding Haiti Among the guests participating will be people who have been living in shelters since the quake The debate will also include Government officials representatives of international organisations and Haitian civil society Invited guests will be allowed to ask questions to a group of seasoned panellists It is expected that the programme will be a good opportunity to connect humanitarian actors the Government of Haiti and Haitian people across the country just after the six month anniversary of the earthquake which killed between 217 000 and 230 000 people according to Haitian government estimates The earthquake injured a further 300 000 and left over 1 5 million homeless The TV Radio Show seeks to engage Haitian people regarding various issues that are relevant to their daily lives and to facilitate a productive debate amongst all parties recognising that Haitian citizens response to any change will be determined by the

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/live-nationwide-broadcast-of-debate-over-haiti-quake/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    warning alerts for disasters Cell broadcasting a technology will enable delivery of information to multiple users simultaneously in a specified area Texting short messages through mobile phones could help in early warning of natural disasters in the Maldives says a new report Damage caused by the 2004 tsunami Photo credit SciDev The technology called cell broadcasting helps to deliver messages simultaneously to multiple users in a specified area In the case of the Maldives if an early warning is introduced it must be able to reach all of the outlying islands including tourists on resorts With mobile phones quite ubiquitous it may be an ideal time to introduce an emerging technology cell broadcasting for public early warning says the report Mobile Cell Broadcasting for Commercial Use and Public Warning in the Maldives which was published last month 15 July It was prepared by LIRNEasia a regional telecom policy and regulation think tank with expertise in disaster early warning with support from the International Development Research Centre IDRC of Canada and the Department for International Development DFID of the United Kingdom Natasha Udu gama project manager at LIRNEasia said that a pilot project to test the system in the Maldives is being considered Safeguarding the island The 1 192 islands of the Maldives are prone to a number of hazards including tsunamis earthquakes flash floods thunderstorms tornadoes and waterspouts strong winds and drought This system is in fully operative condition and ready for any emergency The December 2004 tsunami that devastated much of its infrastructure highlighted the need for an early warning system exacerbated by the growing threat of islands sinking due to climate change triggering rising sea levels Similar plans for cell broadcasting already exist in Bangladesh and the Netherlands In Sri Lanka an early warning system which includes cell

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/maldives-to-get-early-warning-alerts-via-sms/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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    D practitioners About Digital Opportunity Contact Us Spotlight News Comments Resources Archive OneWorld websites and resources Governance Knowledge Centre Lifelines EK duniya anEK awaaz Climate Change Action Appropriate Technology Choice OneWorld South Asia Info Maldives to get early warning alerts via SMS Facing increased threats triggered by climate change Maldives will soon receive text based early warning alerts for disasters Cell broadcasting a technology Related topics regions Information Climate Change

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/search?Subject%3Alist=Maldives (2016-02-17)
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    country s dry season is helping humanitarian organizations forecast the needs of communities in drought prone areas Along with a government run social safety net program which provides credit and insurance for work farmers are able to predict bad weather pay for losses if bad weather occurs and access financial resources According to the WFP s Niels Balzer if there s a drought farmers get an insurance payout If the season goes well they get access to credit which allows them to purchase additional seeds and equipment In Kenya the Intergovernmental Authority on Development IGAD is using SMS technology to alert Masai farmers to upcoming bad weather Funded by the World Bank through its Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery or GFDRR the group is using the same technology to put phones in the hands of rural residents so they can alert humanitarian organizations of their location and need during disasters According to Balzer drought has a direct and immediate impact but it also has long term effects on households and can lead to long term poverty The affects range from loss of income and missed school to damaged infrastructure displacement hunger and death Mapping flood paths In an effort to better predict disasters before they happen experts are turning to open data for evidence based analysis and to mapping for planning purposes and to show where disasters may have the greatest impact In the Caribbean the GeoNode platform developed by scientists at the University of the West Indies provides data on coastline roads soil type rainfall and land areas Designers have opened the data to the general public to help people make better decisions in manage disasters risks and vulnerability to climate change If you want to find out the flood risk in a community you can use

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/new-technologies-allow-better-planning-for-natural-disasters/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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