As the true extent of the Paris attacks becomes clear, we are reminded yet again how the internet - or more specifically, social media - is changing what it means to cope with disasters affecting people on a global scale.
It may seem trivial to even care about social media during moments like this - in happier moments it can seem like a place for selfies, holiday photos and banal arguments in 140 characters.
But during a crisis social media becomes the single most significant platform for news to be spread, eyewitness experiences to be shared and official statements to be made.
directrelief.org - by Andrew Schroeder - October 14, 2015
Early Fall mornings in Cambridge, MA have the feeling practically of American myth. The sun rises over the mist that hangs like a blanket on the Charles River, lighting the water with a pale glow that filters through multi-colored leaves and glints off the steel and glass fronts of the buildings which line the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). I’m hurrying down Massachusetts Ave towards Technology Square, wind in my face and coffee in hand, to arrive for the start of the second annual Humanitarian UAV (drone) Experts Meeting happening at MIT Lincoln Labs’ Beaver Works. The meeting is hosted by UAViators (Humanitarian UAV Network), a brainchild of my friend and colleague Patrick Meier.
blogs.bmj.com - by Trish Groves / The BMJ - September 8, 2015
The whole debate on sharing clinical study data has focused on transparency, reproducibility, and completing the evidence base for treatments. Yet public health emergencies such as the Ebola and MERS outbreaks provide a vitally important reason for sharing study data, usually before publication or even before submission to a journal, and ideally in a public repository.
thenewdawnliberia.com - by Ben P. Wesee - Editing by Jonathan Browne -September 1, 2015
The four Mano River Union or MRU countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast have issued a joint communiqué in Monrovia, calling for information sharing, experiences and good practices during and after health emergencies in order to collaborate and network with local and international partners in the sub-region.
In a just ended conference here on the Ebola Virus Disease or EVD, the MRU countries also advanced several recommendations. Delegates from the four countries recommended in the communiqué a need to develop a harmonized framework for adherence to ethical standards during health disasters with appropriate and approved mechanisms for vaccines, therapeutic agents and testing methods.
This project aims to develop guidelines on how to create the right environment for public health data sharing and achieve good practice. The project will take these recommendations to key stakeholders within global health to provide support for pushing the established norms for data sharing towards a model where data are shared as openly as is possible and appropriate.
"Beach ball" mobile antenna being inflated in Chautara, Nepal, image provided by the World Food Programme, 12 May 2015.
trust.org - in.reuters.com - by Joseph D'Urso - May 12, 2015
LONDON, May 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Buildings wrecked by Tuesday's earthquake in Nepal, already weakened by last month's huge quake which killed over 8,000, will take years to rebuild. But another type of infrastructure will bounce back much sooner: communication networks.
Enabling aid workers and civilians to access the internet, make a phone call or send a text is now seen as a vital part of any humanitarian response. The World Food Programme (WFP) has deployed some innovative kit to make this possible in Nepal.
Image: Kathmandu Living Labs' earthquake site collects data about conditions and needs. Each blue dot represents the number of reports of help wanted — medical, food, water or shelter — near Kathmandu. Kathmandu Living Labs
npr.org - May 5th 2015 - David Lagesse These pleas for help in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake have popped up on ever changing maps of the disaster zone, compiled and posted by hundreds of digital volunteers around the globe. They've not been to Nepal and very likely haven't met each other, instead working together through online forums and chat rooms and posting their work to Web documents and maps.
Drone footage shot by ABC cameraman Brant Cumming in the Gorkha district shows buildings reduced to rubble by the April 25 earthquake. This video highlights the remoteness of the affected areas in Nepal and the difficulties faced by rescue personnel struggling to reach them.
submitted by George Hurlburt
theconversation.com - by Gerard Fitzgerald, Apil Gurung, and Bharat Raj Poudel - May 5, 2015
The media in Nepal has been instrumental in keeping people connected and updated about the recent magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit the country on Saturday April 25.
However, initially the quake did not create a major reaction, as small scale tremors are not uncommon in the country. The Nepalese people were also unclear about the extent of the disaster as local media struggled to react to the earthquake.
The reality of the scale of the disaster began to sink in when heartbreaking pictures of the damage started emerging. Live footage and pictures from the international media gave some insight into the extent of the devastation in the earthquake ravaged nation.