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Mapping a Crisis: Humanity Road Volunteers Lead Media Monitoring Team For Libya Crisismap
Volunteers from Humanity Road, Inc., are leading a team monitoring online communications and contributing reports to a map of the Libyan crisis for the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
On March 1, as the humanitarian crisis in Libya grew, the U.N. activated the Standby Task Force (SBTF) to create the Libya Crisis Map, by collecting information and mapping social media and news reports from within Libya and from evacuation routes along the Libyan borders. The Libya Crisis Map is based on Ushahidi software that was originally developed by Kenyan volunteers during civil unrest in Kenya. The SBTF is composed of allied nonprofit organizations and volunteer technical communities. Task Force volunteer partners include Humanity Road, CrisisMappers, CrisisCommons, ICT4Peace, Open Street Map and MapAction.
Humanity Road founders Chris Thompson and Catherine Graham are leading the Libya Crisis Map’s Media Monitoring team. Other Humanity Road volunteers are performing a variety of tasks, including geo-location, reporting, media monitoring, technical support, ranslation, verification and analysis.
Humanity Road is a global network of online volunteers trained to use internet and communication tools to monitor large-scale disasters and to provide information to disaster response agencies and the public. Humanity Road volunteers specialize in identifying, collecting and disseminating information during emerging events. Their methods represent a new paradigm in humanitarian work.
“This is a great group of dedicated humanitarians who volunteer their time and expertise to respond to crises,” said Chris Thompson, President of Humanity Road, Inc.
This is Humanity Road’s fourth deployment with the Standby Task Force in 2011. Other
Standby Task Force deployments in 2011 have included the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, Hurricane Yasi in Australia, and election monitoring in Sudan.
In 2010 Humanity Road volunteers responded to events in 52 countries and 31 U.S. states including the Chicago blizzard, Pakistan floods, Haiti earthquake and cholera outbreak, Chile earthquake and Brazil mudslides.
Each deployment is unique. Tasks that Humanity Road volunteers perform during these events include monitoring mainstream and social media to identify and record incidents, mapping, tweeting and routing urgent needs to appropriate local
Craig Fugate, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has
recognized the emerging role of email, texting and online social media in responding to crises:
"As social media becomes more a part of our daily lives, people are turning to it during emergencies as well. We need to utilize these tools, to the best of our abilities, to engage and inform the public, because no matter how much federal, state and local officials do, we will only be successful if the public is brought in as part of the team."
- Craig Fugate
Address to the American Red Cross Emergency Social Data Summit,
August 12, 2010
Through skilled and self-directed work teams, Humanity Road and its network of global
volunteers aim to provide the public and disaster response agencies worldwide with the timely and accurate aid information they need at times of crisis.
For more information about Humanity Road and to learn how you can help, visit
http://www.humanityroad.org. Humanity Road, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.
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A global Digital citizen’s action team educating the public using Internet and mobile device technology to deliver critical preparedness and recovery information before, during and after disaster.