In parallel to the panel on early warning systems, the disaster response panel will also focus on early response to serious crimes and gross violations of human rights, specifically in the context of disasters. Broadband and cellular networks can be quickly established to support the information flow to and from victims. The analysis of information flows can be automated to detect patterns and emergencies. But technology can also represent a challenge, creating information overflow and requiring capacities that are not always available. How do we design effective systems for situations that require rapid and efficient response mechanisms? What are some of the lessons learned in light of recent disasters?
Patrick Meier (Crisis Mapping / Ushahidi)
Jennifer Chan (Harvard Humanitarian Initiative)
Steven Hansch (Institute for the Study of International Migration)
John Crowley(Harvard Humanitarian Initiative/STAR-TIDES)
Dr. Jennifer Chan is an associate faculty member of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Chan is an emergency medicine physician and public health provider.
John Crowley is a Research Fellow at Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and STAR-TIDES. John coordinates a community of developers who build solutions for big problems in humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations. One of those issues is how to create a bridge between governments, NGOs, and stressed populations using crowdsourcing and other forms of collective intelligence.
Supporting the STAR-TIDES initiative at the National Defense University, he led a tiger team to connect crowdsourcing communities with the U.S. Southern Commandâ€™s emergency operations centere during the Haiti response. Between earthquakes, John coordinates the "Camp Roberts" RELIEF experiments through the Naval Postgraduate School -- a program that gathers participants from responder communities and challenges them to swarm around shared problems. Through the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, John is expanding an existing program in crisis mapping to include the theory and practice around collective intelligence for response operations.
John holds an MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he was the Robert C. Seamans Fellow in Science, Technology, and Public Policy. He also holds masters and bachelors degrees in intellectual history and music from Boston University. He tweets at @jcrowley.
Steve Hansch is a Senior Associate at the Institute for the Study of International Migration. Mr. Hansch has conducted field work implementing and developing disaster response programs in Ethiopia, Sudan, Kosovo, Rwanda, Azerbaijan and Somalia, working with NGOs like the International Rescue Committee, CARE, Relief International, and Partners for Development. In the early 1990s he served as Program Director of the NGO consortium Food Aid Management, dedicated to sharing information about improving the effectiveness, efficiency and accountability of international relief. From 1993 to 1998 he served as Senior Program officer at the Refugee Policy Group, where he led evaluations of NGO field programs and organized a number of lessons-learned workshops among emergency NGOs.
He also has had steady involvement in teaching about disaster prevention and humanitarian relief since designing a course on the subject -- to fill a perceived gap -- at Stanford University in 1976. Since then he has lectured and taught courses on humanitarian aid, with a primary focus on NGO capacity building, at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, Georgetown's McDonough School of Business, the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Columbia University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison (the Disaster Management Program) and American University. He also serves as a SPHERE trainer for NGOs and has taught in the NGO-oriented specialized trainings offered on emergency relief by the International Committee of the Red Cross, USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (through World Education and Columbia University) and others.
An internationally recognized thought leader on the application of new technologies for crisis early warning, humanitarian response and resilience, Patrick is currently the Director of Social Innovation at QCRI, where he spearheads cutting-edge research and development on next-generation humanitarian technology solutions.
Prior to QCRI, Patrick co-founded and co-directed the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s (HHI) Program on Crisis Mapping and Early Warning and served as Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi, leading major crisis mapping efforts in Haiti, Libya, Somalia and Syria. He has consulted extensively for many international organizations and programs including the UN Secretariat, UN Global Pulse, OCHA, UNDP, UNICEF, OSCE, OECD, EC, USAID, DAI, IFES, Swisspeace, Internews and the World Bank. He also co-founded the CrisisMappers Network, the 56Standby Ta67sk Force and the Digital Humanitarians Network.
Prior to HHI, Patrick was a researcher with the Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) and a fellow at SIPA’s Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR). He is also an alumnus of the Santa Fe Institute’s (SFI) Complex Systems Summer School and holds a certificate in complexity science from the New England Complex Systems Institute. Patrick has taught undergraduate, graduate and professional seminars on a variety of topics including Conflict and Disaster Early Warning, Complexity Science and Digital Democracy.
In addition, Patrick is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and a lead contributor to the PeaceTXT project with PopTech and partners. He is also an accomplished speaker, having presented at many international conferences including the Skoll World Forum, Club de Madrid, Mobile World Congress, PopTech, Where 2.0, TTI/Vanguard, SXSW and several TEDx’s.
Patrick Meier, director of crisis mapping & partnerships at the open source project Ushahidi, explains how digital devices are capable of crowdsourcing real-time information to create maps of disaster areas. Ushahidi puts a humanitarian twist on the foursquare model of check-ins, providing activists and communities "check-ins with a purpose" during disaster situations.