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World Food Program: Concluding Post

Original Program Design As the World Food Program, our ultimate mission in this scenario is to promote long-term food security. After assessing the needs of the population in the face of the Rabat earthquake crisis, we judged that doing so would require a two-phase approach. We first have to provide immediate aid as a part of the response effort. Concurrently, we should begin the development of programs to promote long-term food stability as an integral part of the reconstruction process. These will continue beyond the duration of the immediate crisis. For each of these phases we designed plans to meet our objectives. As a part of the response effort, we would lead an aid-distribution effort that galvanized local fishermen into a network of distributors servicing the camps developing along the Bou Regreg … Read entire article »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Why take a class on crisis mapping?

So, why am I interested in taking a course on Crisis mapping? It’s not something I knew a lot about from the get go-I had to Google the term when it first popped up in the course catalog. And even then, I was leery to say the least. My skills as a computer programmer are nonexistent, and the jargon filled summaries I read of the field made it seem useful in some aspects, but also esoteric and decidedly hands off. After the information session, however, my concerns were completely allayed by was what the course itself promised: to teach a skill. Rather than simply feeding us information, Crisis Mapping would be about learning a toolkit, and nurturing the organizational savvy to put it into action. Regardless of how difficult the computer … Read entire article »

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Why I am taking this class

As an eight-year-old, I told my father that I wanted to be a doctor and volunteer with Doctors without Borders so that I could save lives all over the world. As an eighteen-year-old, I am hoping to graduate from college with an Environmental Studies major and ensure that the world is a cleaner and greener place. Obviously, my goals have changed but I’m still attracted to the opportunity to contribute to humanitarian aid and relief. My parents were both born in Vietnam and thankfully escaped much of the ravages of the Vietnam War by attending college in the United States. Unfortunately, much of my family wasn’t as fortunate. Although crisis mapping is popularly associated with humanitarian relief after international disasters, it also has applications with improving living conditions in slums and … Read entire article »

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Ben’s thoughts on crisis mapping

My name is Ben, and I am a first-year undergraduate here at Tufts University. During the summer of 2008, I took on a volunteer opportunity in the city of Mianzhu, near the epicenter of China’s Wenchuan Earthquake. The Wenchuan Earthquake was the 21st deadliest earthquake in known history, measured at 8.0Ms, taking the lives of almost 70,000 people. I arrived with a few friends approximately two months after the initial shock, as a member of the Jiangsu Province relief team, and we were put in charge of interacting with some child survivors at a temporary tent school on an abandoned street in the city. At the time, I was a high school student attending an expensive international school in the affluent suburbs of Shanghai, the largest and probably one of the most … Read entire article »

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