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New technologies and disaster information resources. Ocho Rios, Jamaica February 2003. Why this module?. Understand why and how disaster managers can integrate the use of the Internet and other technologies into their information and communications strategies. .

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New technologies and disaster information resources

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

February 2003


Why this module?

  • Understand why and how disaster managers can integrate the use of the Internet and other technologies into their information and communications strategies.


New technologies and disaster information resources

Part 1. The impact on disaster managers


The train is leaving the station …. All aboard!

Can we agree that . . . ?

  • The Internet is not simply a passing fancy . . .

  • It has changed, and will continue to change, the way we work.


How has the Internet changedour lives?


The progression of Internet use in disaster management in the Americas

The first projects exclusively designed to promote a culture of Internet use.

1995


Objetives

  • Improve horizontal comunication.

  • Provide local access to global sources of information.


Obstacles

  • Political and regulatory monopolies

  • Lack of telephone lines and equipment

  • Much-needed support and hand-holding

  • The issue of language


Listservs and the WWW

1995

1996


  • Discussion group among Caribbean disaster managers [email protected]

  • Internet e-mail distribution list [email protected]@paho.org


Internet MeetingBogota, Colombia

1995

1996

1997


Where recommendations included ….

  • Allowing unfettered exchange of information

  • Including the topic on conference agendas!

  • Closing the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots”


Hurricanes Georges and Mitch

1995

1996

1997

1998


Hurricanes Georges and Mitch were the firstInternet-intensive disasters


1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

Venezuela


Information-based decision making

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000


For any Ministry, agency or organization, disasters cause

C H A O S !


On the negative side

More political than medical

Competitive rather than collaborative

More emotional than pragmatic

The climate during disasters

On the plus side

  • Solidarity

  • Anything is possible!


Where are we headed?

The democratization of information


INFORMATION

Twenty years ago . . .

  • Whoever had the information had power !


Today . . .

  • Power lies in disseminating information

The affected country

Mass media

Donors

The public


Twenty years ago . . .

  • Usually, information originated from one single source


Today . . .

  • Information comes from all over !


In summary . . .


  • We must close the digital divide

Source: Internet World Stats, 2003


Growth is tremendous, but the digital divide remains . . .


The Internet is used for many purposes...


Why don’t we make more use of available information?

Today, information is not our scarcest resource . . .

. . . Time is our scarcest resource!


Too little time + Too much information

=

expectations thatcannot be met


  • Unmet expectations = LOST TIME

  • Lost time =LOST CLIENTS


We used to talk about the information “have-nots” . . .

” N ow we talk about the information “can nots”


In summary . . .

  • The digital divide is closing

  • Use of the Internet in disaster management contributes to transparency


In summary . . .

  • The digital divide is closing

  • Use of the Internet in disaster management contributes to transparency

  • Those who adopt a non-restrictive, open policy regarding Internet communication and dissemination of information will have the last word!


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