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Tufts Crisis Mapping Class » Crisis Mapping, Disaster Management, Humanitarian Action » UNICEF Conclusions

UNICEF Conclusions

Originally in our project design, we assumed that our long-term goals would be implemented much later after the earthquake occurred, but foundation building would be useful if not effective soon after the crisis has occurred. In the simulation, many people were reporting that it wasn’t just food and water that they were lacking, it was money and something to occupy themselves with. If these people are internally displaced and the city has been ravaged, they don’t have anything to occupy themselves with. If we were to change our plan, we would likely dive into the foundation building in a shorter time frame than we had originally thought in order to limit the long term damage.

We also have to take into consideration that our supplemental meal plan may not be as effective as we had hoped it might be. After participating in the simulation and making our crowdmap, we now have a greater awareness of how people are going to react. There is a change that people may lie about the need of resources, or steal resources from one another. Without a way to satisfactorily verify data about families in the area, we have no way of determining which families are taking in orphans and where resources really need to go. To help combat this, we will add a voucher program to the plan, giving a voucher to families that we match up with orphans. That way, we would be able to tell which families we know for sure have taken orphans in, or those that are trying to exploit the system. It would still be difficult to determine genuine need, but it may prevent families from trying to live off of our meal plans without actually needing the assistance.

In our plan, we would also like to implement frontline sms in order to foster communication between our HQ and all of our partner HQs. Using the frontline platform, we can easily send out messages and receive them from our partners. We would also likely use Google Earth in order to make an offline map that can be utilized by our partners for more efficient allocation of resources, and to determine the best routes for our workers to travel through the city taking danger into account. Ushahidi will be useful to take in information that we can then export to the previously mentioned google earth kml map.

We expect that the implications of using crisis mapping technologies for our team would be somewhat mixed. On the one hand, these technologies, particularly Frontline SMS, have the potential to give us better information and to visualize the populations we would be targeting with our programs so that we could effectively allocate project resources. However, the significant effort needed to get these systems up and running might easily sideline other projects for our staff. We also don’t know if community response to those programs would be positive or significant enough to adequately understand need without putting other mechanisms in place to better understand the situation. We would hope that implementing these projects would provide us with a favorable context in which to work, as it would show our genuine interest in having community input about their needs. However, this could also backfire: if the citizens of Rabat felt we were not responding to their needs in a timely manner, there could be significant fallout that might hinder our operational capacity.

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I am currently a Sophomore at Tufts University studying International Relations and Community Health.

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