Not sure if you’ve heard of it yet — The Disaster App Challenge #DAC14 (The Center for Technology and National Security Policy) is proposing this challenge to help identify and judge the best existing Disaster Apps on the market. (see below for more info) and I was asked to speak during a webinar to kicks this off (it was an honor to serve).
I shared what my background of 10 years of Social Media experience in Disasters. (I have another 20 in volunteer and professional response) back to our TsunamiBandAide operation, launching Help Earth Foundation and then joining Crisis Commons to be part of #CrisisCampHaiti, #CrisisCampSandy, and now as a part of a larger effort called the Digital Humanitarian Network via my role in the Help Earth Foundation during where we deployed for #TyphoonHaiyan.
As if on cue something new called Open Good Hacks has been growing organically from the hacker community to address the very same issue and this felt like to me to be the perfect opportunity to connect these communities together and talk about how Digital Responders are changing the landscape and work scope for everyone involved in Disasters.
During the webinar I mainly talked about the rise of Disaster Apps in creating innovative solutions; And this dual burden for the NGO or local gov that gets these new tools let alone the original creators as each will get a number of new duties to perform in order to keep that APP relevant and secure. One Idea shared was to take advantage of developing html5 pages and use existing technology to skin it to IOS or Android sub platforms. CTNSP will have a blog about this which I’ll link to when it come live.
I also shared that Local Emergency Managers are join together via the #SMEMCHAT community on Twitter every Friday 12:30 -1:30 EST. and that I would share info about the Disaster App Challenge and it’s need to have folks share with them your knowledge of Disasters and APPs .
So, Please If you would like to participate in the design and criteria selection of the competition or just want to give them a suggestion, please or contact Nelly Mobula at nelly.mobula @ ndu.edu.
BACKGROUND ON DISASTER APPS:
There is a proliferation of apps on mobile and IT platforms – some are
similar to each other, some very original, some are still in the design
stages. Available research indicates that the average person thinking of
using new digital tools will have some trouble finding one that is going to
serve their purpose. This challenge aims to select/highlight existing apps
that are most likely to be most useful, interoperable, sustained and up to
date. Challenge participants will be encouraged not to generate new pilot
apps-the purpose of this challenge is to encourage refinement/improvement of
those that already exist. The outcome of our Disaster Apps Challenge will
also ensure recognition for disaster apps that are in fact already well
built and useful across a broad range of users. An additional useful outcome
for those apps is the ability to gain access to people that need the apps,
this access will also help ensure that the right features get built.