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Tufts Crisis Mapping Class » Crisis Mapping

World Food Programme Crowd Map

World Food Programme – Blog Post 2 Crowd Map and SMS Information Rebecca Graffy, Vanessa Joch, Lucy Perkins, Eric Siegel Establishing a Crowd Map: For the first assignment since beginning work on the WFP’s response plan, our group did not meet in person to discuss the assignment and complete it together. We worked on the map remotely, discussing the process in an email thread. Each member of the team was made a super admin to divide up approval of text responsibilities. Team members added categories independently as they mapped. Whether to Map: The WFP’s goals of immediate food relief and long-term food security depend upon the ability to locate needy populations. The WFP needs to know where the IDPs are gathering, what they already have at their … Read entire article »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping, Disaster Management, Featured, Technology

UNICEF & Crowdmap

UNICEF Morocco: In response to the devastating earthquake in Rabat, UNICEF Morocco has pledged its time and resources to citizens of the city. After receiving information from the UN SMS campaign, we decided to compile a map because it would help us to focus our efforts and be more effective in providing our partner NGOs throughout the city with necessary information. However, many of the difficulties we faced were due to our limited knowledge of the protocols aid workers are expected to follow. This was a highly important realization for our team: if crisis mappers reject certain information or suggest certain actions, there will be real world consequences. There is great potential for this online community to help, but without reflection and training, there is also much vulnerability to harmful mistakes. Some instances … Read entire article »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping, Disaster Management, Featured, Technology

Catholic Relief Services – First Blog Post

Catholic Relief Services first began by examining the overall situation, and coming up with a decision on whether or not to get involved. Based on our mandate and our lack of previous experience in Morocco, we decided we would be more of a hindrance should we attempt to enter the community immediately, and it would be better to carry our projects once the situation was more stabilised. We also decided to focus on a specific target population, the coastal shanty towns of Rabat, in line with our mandate of fighting poverty. We then sought to gain a better understanding of the situation on the ground, from which we could then construct a plan of action to address the most pressing … Read entire article »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping

UNICEF Morocco & Our Plan

Challenges faced: One of the biggest challenges we faced while we worked on the initial project was avoiding mission creep. As one of the only groups with a solidified based on the ground, there was a strong temptation for us to try and play a bigger role than was perhaps appropriate, given the actual size of our ranks. More importantly, doing so would have compromised our work with our target group, children and women, by focusing our work in areas unmatched with our specific expertise. Another challenge we confronted was making sure that our approach was sufficiently holistic; we wanted to ensure that we were taking all cultural, political, economic and logistical factors into consideration. We realized the high stakes nature of this exercise: if one factor is neglected, it has the … Read entire article »

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CrowdMap and the MOH

As the Ministry of Health, we began mapping the reports that we received by setting up our Crowd Map online, giving it a reasonably simple name, centering it between Rabat and Sale, and then uploading the reports. Then, we added every member of our group as superadmins, set it to cluster reports, and activated the full screen map add-on. Before we began to approve reports, we spent a significant amount of time discussing which reports to map, and in the end decided to try and limit our mapped reports to issues that related directly to health needs. We defined these as reports that dealt with healthcare needs (critical and non-critical), medical supplies (needed/available), water, security threats, transportation, people movement, and feedback. We decided that transportation information was key to our response plan … Read entire article »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping, Disaster Management, Featured, Humanitarian Action

Plan of the World Food Programme

World Food Programme – Blog Post Rebecca Graffy, Vanessa Joch, Lucy Perkins, Eric Siegel Program Development: Process and Challenges -The WFP does not have an office in Morocco, so an immediate challenge was determining how to collect information and form a presence on the ground where we previously had none. Furthermore, the WFP has had tense relations with the Moroccan government as of late and so we were initially unsure as to how receptive the government would be towards our efforts. -Our program depends upon being able to survey the affected populations swiftly and accurately, a challenge given that the population is likely to be scattered, anxious, and not trusting of foreign staff. We do not know to what extent we can expect our surveys to accurately reflect the situation. -One of our main concerns … Read entire article »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping, Featured, Humanitarian Action

Ministry of Health’s initial plan

PART 1: EVALUATION As our group members came together to form the Moroccan Ministry of Health (MOH), it was clear that each person had many ideas to contribute, which created a thoughtful and productive group dynamic. When approaching an assignment as the MOH, we each assigned specific topics to each member to research and then met together to discuss our findings. Not only did this provide us with multiple perspectives on the case study, but it also ensured that we were knowledgeable about the history and geography of Morocco, the health consequences of earthquakes and floods, and the response process of other areas that had gone through a similar disaster. We used this information to collectively create a basic response plan and complete the assigned tasks for that week. The biggest problem … Read entire article »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping, Disaster Management, Featured

Wen’s blog post

Why did I choose to take this class, and what do I want to get out of it? I had actually wanted to take this class before knowing much about it, because my cousin had come to Tufts last year, for a seminar on crisis mapping. That triggered my interest in it, and once I found out more, I was sold. The main reason that I choose this class is because I’m considering a career in the developmental field, possibly coupled with policy work. Crisis mapping seems to me to be crucial to the effective implementation of programs, particularly disaster relief operations, particularly to minimise unintended consequences. In carrying out projects, it isn’t simply about the work and effort that you make, but the outcome that you achieve. The road to hell … Read entire article »

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Post 1: Why Crisis Mapping?

In April 2009, I was a responder during Tufts’ now infamous “Mass Casualty Incident.” To an outsider, this label might seem too melodramatic for a group of drunk college kids at an outdoor concert, but for responders to the chaos, “Mass” was no exaggeration.  We were faced with 33 patients in about 3 hours, and that number doesn’t address the police incidents that simultaneously ensued. I had been an EMT for about 2 weeks. I was sent alone to treat an unconscious person on a sidewalk.  Every ambulance unit in Medford and Somerville was pulled from the two towns to transport students from the event, and we received calls from local hospitals telling us that their Emergency Rooms could not accommodate any more patients.  Though the concerted effort of several pubic safety agencies … Read entire article »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping, Featured

Miriam’s take on crisis mapping

I have been involved in social action and humanitarian aid in a variety of different forms over the years, searching for methods that are both meaningful to me and can have the greatest impact on others. Immediate crisis relief intrigues me – as a sociology major with a concentration in social inequalities and social change, a lot of my experience has been in studying and combating longer-standing issues such as poverty, economic inequality, and human rights abuses. The collection and integration of data after a about an area is an important process in working both with disaster relief and more elongated problems that I have never really thought about. I hope to learn the theoretical as well as practical concepts and skills of crisis mapping. Utilizing mapping technologies to study various … Read entire article »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping