Over the past years I’ve been dedicated to information management during disasters, especially those with a high impact on public health which require a response from the international community. During such an emergency the amount of information is orders of magnitude higher, resources become limited, time passes quickly, and every day needs significant progress.
For this reasons, it’s true when they say that the secret to provide an effective response is to do solid preparatory work before the disaster. The acute phase typically lasts a few weeks; given the scarcity of resources the occasions to innovate are limited. Most of the time you just follow procedures previously learned.
But every event is unique in some ways and each experience brings a new set of ideas that shape our response to the next emergency. The earthquake that took place in Haiti earlier this year is probably the best example I can find. Due to the terrible magnitude of the disaster, the need of information, and the large number of organizations involved, we had to wise up to better support the decision making process.
That’s why I find the following video so interesting. It interviews some of the folks I’ve been working with side by side recently, with their passionate work and vision they have emerged as a reference in their field. Hopefully, what they are building will allow us face the next disaster in the best conditions we’ve ever had. Check it out: