Presentation on theme: "New technologies and disaster information resources Part 2. The right information, at the right time, the right way."— Presentation transcript:
New technologies and disaster information resources Part 2. The right information, at the right time, the right way
Disaster management: a discipline “hungry” for information A multidisciplinary and intersectoral activity. A wide variety of products and information resources. An appropriate information infrastructure -- more than just the physical component, a change in the way we work.
Information Needs Relevant information Timely information Up-to-date information Consistent information
Provide value added for users DISASTERS HURRICANES EPIDEMIOLOGY CONTACTS HOMELESS EARTHQUAKES RELIEF DAMAGES
What gives value added to disaster information? A reliable source Speed Quality and relevance of content Organization A combination of resources Has a focus It’s up-to-date Good design and easy to navigate
What kind of information are we talking about? Risk reduction information hazards and the environment in which they coexist the elements -- physical and human -- at risk and the degree of vulnerability community awareness of their of risk and degree to which they accept this risk Wide variety of disciplines Past, present and future
Some questions... What functions do you like to see on a web site? Normally, do you browse through a site or do you use the site’s internal search engine? Name several things you expect to see on a web site.
Criteria for evaluating a web site Authority Who is the author? What relationship to the topic does he/she have? Can you contact the author? Objectivity Is the objective of the site clear to you ? Is the “ownership” clearly identified? Is the information impartial?
Criteria Up-to-date When was the information generated? Has it been updated recently? Design Do the visual effects complement the information? Do you have options--to view just text or without frames? Does the site require plug-ins?
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
A web site will fail if it does not offer a real or perceived value to users.
S I L E N C E A lack of feedback does not necessarily signal accpetance!
Identify the consumers Who are you targeting with the information you generate? Who communicates with your organization to request information? The Internet is a two-way street
Who are these information consumers? Disaster authorities or managers in an affected (or at risk) country The international community: cooperation agencies and donors The national and local community …who else?
In disaster situations, information is used for... Coordination of international assistance Assessment of damages and needs
The Internet has a role before, during and after disasters : Before (preparedness, mitigation, prevention): research and studies. During (response): assessment of damages and needs; coordination of of aid After: collection and analysis of data; lessons learned; institutional memory
Between disasters…. We have the luxury of time.
The disaster environment has inherent problems: Competition Rumors Difficulty in updating information
High demand for information Communication with information sources is hampered. Information is centralized Type of information required Acceptable response time
Incoming traffic following Hurricane Mitch, 1998
The reality during disasters... Then we change directions! We run like crazy...
The right information at the right time, the right way...
The right path... Support the creation of disaster information centers or services. Can be integrated into existing facilities. Critical for sustainability: quality and institutional support.
Information Infrastructure: Components A culture of information Sufficient personnel Good coordination processes Good information products Work guidelines and standards Supportive institutional structure A minimum level of physical resources.
Good coordination requires an open work environment and cannot thrive in isolation. The Internet is an excellent tool for achieving this.
In summary, what can we do to get the right information to the right people at the right time in the right way?
What can we do? Make more agile and efficient the process of preparing information in electronic format and posting it on the Internet. Become better promoters of our electronic information products.
INFORMATION Avoid bottlenecks The technology exists...... The challenge is getting the information to those who need it.
Promote collaboration between information teams and content experts Promote collaboration between information teams and content experts SUBJECT EXPERTS INFORMATICS DOCUMENTATION CENTERS
Strengthen our position and reputation as principal sources of disaster management information in the Caribbean.