Internews Global Health Advisor Ida Jooste recently went to Liberia to serve as a mentor for 16 journalists as they worked with Internews to respond to information needs following the Ebola outbreak. Ida's visit to Liberia provided a great opportunity to learn more about the crucial role of reliable information in health emergencies; more specifically, the rumor-filled environment in Liberia during and after the Ebola crisis provided Internews with an ideal opportunity to employ its Information Ecosystems Tool in a humanitarian crisis.
Current methods of collating and monitoring information in emergencies are time-intensive and do not allow us to track trends, gaps, or insights over time. Internews’ experience in working with local media in emergency situations is grounded in the work of the Internews Humanitarian Information Programs Unit, which has been responding to emergencies in more than 20 countries in the past 10 years.
The Central African Republic is a landlocked country and one of the poorest and underdeveloped in the world. The country has experienced almost two decades to conflicts since 1996, including the Bush Wars from 2001.
It has been 2 years since I have been in Bangui. It is exactly how I remembered it: dusty, noisy, chaotic and fascinating. On the way from the airport to the home/office I am surprised by how the recent events seem not to have changed the look of this city. Sylvain, our country director, reads my mind “Today is a good day, it looks like it is quite. But not all days are like this”.
Hearing evolved to alert humans to changes in their environments. But as our environments have gotten louder, our brains haven’t exactly evolved a mute button to cope with the change.
Design thinking draws on methods from fields like engineering and design, and combines them with the arts, the social sciences, and the business world and therefore leading to creation of prototypes.
The first phase of the Humanitarian Data Toolkit (HDT) experimentation is over, and we are already working on improvements and refinements for the next iteration. The HDT was piloted under a Lean Startup model, experimenting with a relatively rough prototype as the beginning of a process of testing and iterative development. A recently released report documents the journey of the pilot – based on our experience, working as a collaborative team testing out the effectiveness of doing an information needs assessment with the HDT in Dadaab, Kenya.