Presentation on theme: "Part 3. Where to find disaster information New technologies and disaster information resources."— Presentation transcript:
Part 3. Where to find disaster information New technologies and disaster information resources
Principal Sources The World Wide Web CD-ROMs Disaster Information Centers
Principal tools Problems: þthe overwhelming amount of information þthe disorganized nature of the information þlack of standards and quality control þslow connection speeds The World Wide Web
What gives value added to disaster information? A reliable source Speed Quality and relevance of content Organization A combination of resources Has a focus Its up-to-date Good design and easy to navigate
What makes a good web site? Simplicity Graphics, fonts, colors Ease of navigation Avoid needless animation Reduce download time Good (and working!) links Up-to-date information Include meta tags A search engine Quality control
The growth of Internet access can generate inequities in access to information. We cannot cater exclusively to the online community. Keep in mind the needs, interests and limitations of all users.
The Internet is not the only source of digital information... CD-ROMs enable widespread use of information in electronic format when the Internet is not accessible. They are: low cost easy to use economies of scale large storage capacity
CD-ROM: The Virtual Health Library for Disasters The Global Virtual Library of Essential Information Resources on Public Health for Disasters and Complex Emergencies (2001 Edition)
What is the Virtual Disaster Library? An open and changing collection Information in Spanish, English and French An organized collection of technical and scientific documents selected for their quality of content Available free of charge, it does away with restrictions of time an space imposed by Internet Dual platform: CD-ROM and Internet Dual electronic format: HTML and PDF
New edition of the Virtual Health Library for Disasters The same objective: facilitate fast and low-cost access to technical and scientific publications on health and disasters.
Whats new? A global collection, prepared by PAHO and WHO, with collaboration from some of the most imporant international organizations working in health, emergencies and disasters: UNICEF, UNHCR, ICRS. Expanded content and themataic coverage: now more than 400 technical documents including the most important publications on emergencies and disasters from these organizations. Easier to search, with material in in three languages.
Topics 4Public health in disasters and emergencies 4Disaster preparedness and response 4Human rights and humanitarian legislation 4Environmental health and chemical agents 4Refugee health and displaced populations 4Communicable and vector-borne diseases 4Food and nutrition 4Reproductive health, child health and immunization 4Mental health 4Supply management and essential drugs 4Medical management of the consequences of war
A note... The easiest part of the process was harnessing the technology. The most difficult part was negotiating with organizations to relinquish copyrights. The process helped to eliminate, or at least reduce, bureaucratic tendencies.
Many advantages Permanent and unlimited access to information Reduced printing and distribution costs Easy to update Can personalize how information is manipulated and distributed.
Technology and training The use of technology should be supported by training and education. Internet is just a tool – it doesnt provide the skills to search for information or the capacity to interpret and understand it.
Training, training, training... How do organisations convince people that training is much more than courses, that it is about life-long commitment to workplace learning, continuous improvement and discovery. Alistair Rylatt & Kevin Lohan, Creating Training Miracles, 1995 In the end we retain from our studies only that which we practically apply. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Remember the principal challenges Connectivity, but with value added Training Content Promoting other technologies and not forgetting those on the other side of the digital divide Promoting institutionalized information services and centers.
Disaster Information Centers Regional Disaster Information Center (CRID) Caribbean Disaster Information Network (CARDIN)
CRID: An institutional alliance Management PAHO ISDR Advocacy CNE IFRC CEPREDENA C Administrative support FUNDACRID Sustainability CRID
What can CRID do for your organization? Satisfy information needs Publish and distribute bibliographical material (Bibliodes) Conversion to digital format and distribution of e-documents Technical advice on creating information centers Promote inter-institutional collaboration Distribute technical documentation Help to create strategic alliances Creates a culture of information Contributes to improving vulnerability and risk reduction in the Caribbean
CRID Information Resources Databases and bibliographic services Publications in digital format Support for education and decision making Integrating methodologies and resources
Usefulness of electronic publications Paradigm shift: a virtual CRID Decentralizes and opens up the collection. Transfers the experience and methodology of work Makes widely available material that otherwise would have a limited audience
Support to education and decision making Includes texts and multimedia materials, directed to specific publics and situations: Manuals, Guidelines for professionals and the public Case studies Catalog of experiences that could be replicated or should be avoided. Frequently-asked questions Reference materials for situation rooms
C A R D I N Caribbean Disaster Information Network
Beware of technology fanatics! Digital or electronicgold fever can be as volatile and risky as any other fever!