The Sahana Vesuvius project has moved its repository from Launchpad to Github. This decision was universally supported by the Vesuvius community. See this blog post for more information about the migration process. More information about instructions for developers to migrate to Git are available on the GitHub Wiki page.

 

Sahana News January 2014

Happy New Year!  It was a busy month of December (and beginning of January) with the ongoing response to Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, the Google Code-In, a SahanaCamp in Thailand, and hopefully, everyone had some time off with family and friends to celebrate whatever one celebrates at the end of the year.  I know I did.

The past December 26th marked the 9th anniversary of the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami…. a horrific event that gave birth to the idea of using open source tools to help the survivors of disaster… and by that I mean Sahana.  This June in Sri Lanka, there will be a weeklong series of meetings and conferences to commemorate the 10th anniversary of this event.  Planning is well underway; I hope you can be with us for the OASIS CAP Workshop, ISCRAM Asia Conference, Sahana Annual Meeting and a SahanaCamp / Bar Camp / Workshop (exact monikers are still being debated) in Sri Lanka this June.

Recent News and Announcements

Google Code-In.  The 2013 Google Code-In concluded this month.  We had 36 students complete 153 tasks.  A great job was done by our entire mentoring team as always – providing the students with helpful advice and direction as they learn to contribute meaningfully to an open source project – as well as our first time admins Ramindu Deshapriya and Vishrut Mehta who did a lot of hard and thankless work behind the scenes to make sure the program ran smoothly as always.  Thanks also to the participants who assisted us greatly on closing tickets and other tasks on our existing to do lists.  Our grand prize winners were announced this past Monday by Google: Congratulations to Akshaykumar Kalose from the United States and Anurag Sharma from India.

SahanaCamp@AIT Thailand December 16-17.  SSF Director Nuwan Waidyanatha facilitated a 2-day SahanaCamp as part of a three week course at the Geoinformatics Center attached to the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) based in Thailand.  On day one, the SahanaCamp introduced participants to Sahana Eden’s Community Resilience and Vulnerability Mapping tools with hands-on exercises that helped them realize how additional GIS layers such as census data and assets (e.g. buildings) data can be overstayed with the hazard maps to determine the communities level of risk.  The second day of the SahanaCamp exposed them to Sahana-based alerting/warning (i.e. Sahana CAP-enabled Alerting and Messaging Broker) and situational-reporting (i.e. Sahana Incident Reporting System) tools.  Read more about it here: SahanaCamp at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand.

Updates to Website:  SSF Communications intern Hannah Schwartz, SSF Director Devin Balkind and I have been working on reorganizing the content of our website with a two-phase plan that will initially update some of the content of the website, reorganize some pages and menus, and give a quick makeover to the homepage.  You will notice some of these changes already on our site (I hope… hint… look for fewer options on the top level menu and wider content columns inside the front page… also check out the new deployments page and of course the reorganization of our home page).

In the long term, we’ll be looking to get a designer to update our theme and add some features that will make the site more useful to everyone – potential customers/users, sponsors, new contributors and our existing community.  As part of this process, we’ll be looking to link and embed certain information from documents and spreadsheets in the Foundation’s Google Drive folders – where they will be more easily accessible and able to be updated, as well as the long-awaited for Sahana Sunflower site that will serve as a repository of foundation records and information and provide a hands-on tool for Sahana Eden developers to work with.

Deprecating the Wiki:  As part of the effort to move more of our content to be more accessible via the SSF website and through Google Drive folders, it has become apparent that there is not much remaining value in continuing to try to maintain the main Sahana Software Foundation wiki for this purpose.  Without technical or admin support for dokuwiki, this resource has been foundering for a while.  It is used mostly for Google Summer of Code pages and as a repository of official Foundation records; that content can easily be moved to Google Drive documents and folders.  Once these records are moved, we plan on disabling future edits to most of the namespaces, while leaving the wiki up as a historic resource and archive.  However, we recognize that the Vesuvius project also uses the wiki, so they will have to decide where they want to move their wiki… or if they want to take over support for dokuwiki to serve their project needs.

Project Updates

The Sahana Software Foundation will be beginning/continuing work on a number of projects early this year:

Los Angeles Community Resilience Mapping Portal.  Year two of this project will see us working with 8 community coalitions in Los Angeles County to help them add and edit data within this Sahana Eden based system while we add new features and enhancements based on a user evaluation to take place in the Spring.

MCOP Puget Sound.  We’ll be beginning the first phase of a project this year to bring better situational awareness to the City of Seattle of threats and hazards affecting the Maritime industry in Puget Sound.  Sahana Eden will be used as a resource directory, for task management and mapping data as part of an extensive multi-year and multi-vendor integration project.

NYC Prepared.  Work is continuing to prepare a Community Information Management System for community based organizations in the Greater New York City area involved in Super Storm Sandy long-term recovery efforts.  The Sahana Eden based NYC Prepared site will primarily to serve as a shared resource for directory and services information (a 2-1-1 type resource).  See the NYC Prepared Tools page for more information.

Philippines Super Typhoon Yolanda.  We are continuing to provide support to groups using Sahana Eden as part of the recovery efforts and are looking for funding to support an effort to hold a SahanaCamp and associated Evaluation Campaign to build a Filipino Community Of Practice amongst humanitarian and technical organizations in the Philippines.

Upcoming Events

IOTX Lanka June 16-22, 2014 in Negombo and Colombo, Sri LankaSAVE THE DATE and plan to join us for a series of events commemorating the Indian Ocean Tsunami Xth Anniversary and focused on strengthening disaster planning and preparedness.  Planned public events include an Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Workshop, ISCRAM Asia Conference, SahanaCamp Hackathon/Barcamp, a LirneASIA Public Lecture, and of course, the 2014 Sahana Annual General Meeting.

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That’s all for this month.  If I’ve missed anything important, please do share your news with the community as well.  And as always, my inbox is always open.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Mark

Go forth and do good!!!

A belated November issue of Sahana News.  It was an incredibly eventful month, and the events in the Philippine especially consumed every spare moment.  Here’s the next installment of Sahana News for November 2013.

Recent News and Announcements

Welcome New Directors:  The Sahana Software Foundation Directors has invited three new directors to join the Board.  Please join me in welcoming their ideas, energy and commitment to Sahana and open source:

David Bitner – returns to the Sahana Software Foundation Board.  David is a GIS professional who recently received the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium’s Polaris Leadership Award for 2013. He sits on Sahana’s Financial Oversight Committee and regularly serves as admin for our Google Summer of Code program.

Devin Balkind – head of the Sarapis Foundation and NYC Prepared.  Devin is a fierce advocate of the use of free/libre and open source software for humanitarian organizations.  He has been working with the Sahana Software Foundation since Hurricane Sandy to assist humanitarian organizations with their technical needs, from websites to mailing lists to directories and systems like Sahana Eden.

Nuwan Waidyanatha – Chair of the Sahana Standards and Interoperability Committee.  Nuwan is leading the organization of the IOTX events in Sri Lanka next year and is spearheading a number of projects initiatives in the Asia Pacific Region – including a proposed Sahana Center of Excellence to be based in Bangkok and a planned SahanaCamp for the Philippines to be held early next year.

Super Typhoon Haiyan Response:  Much of the Sahana community has been involved with supporting efforts to aid the people of the Philippines who survived Super Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda last month. Two existing Sahana Eden stakeholders in the Philippines have both utilized Sahana Eden based solutions as part of their disaster response and recovery operations:  First, the Philippine Red Cross as a user of the Sahana Eden based Resource Management System; and second, the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development, who utilize the Sahana Eden based Relief Goods Inventory and Monitoring System (RGIMS).  In addition, a third effort to support the Philippine Department of Health arose from long-time Sahana Eden partners IOSN.  And we are currently responding to a request from the President’s office and via Crisis Mapper Celina Agaton to track aid requests and the status of donations.  For more information about our response activities, please see the following posts on our website:

In addition, the National Library of Medicine has set up an Haiyan event on their Sahana Vesuvius based People Locator system and is synchronizing missing and found persons data with Google Person Finder.

Please share this information with your networks and help us raise awareness and money for the great work that we do.  We have launched a fundraising campaign for Sahana on Razoo and have also posted this information our Facebook page and on Twitter.  Please share this information with your networks (like, retweet, etc.) and let them know how important it is to support us.

Google Code-In.  The Google Code-In started last month.  We are proud to be one of only 10 organizations chosen to mentor this program.  SSF Community members Ramindu Deshapriya (GSOC 2011 & 2012) and Vishrut Mehta (GSOC 2013) are our “admins”.  Mentors and task ideas continue to be welcome.  The program runs through early January.

Second Virtual Eden Training Held.  The second virtual Sahana Eden training for new developers was held on November 23rd.  We had over a dozen persons in attendance – most were participants in the Google Code-In – and again we’ve received great feedback and evaluations.  All training materials – including a recording of the session – are or will soon be available on our training page.  http://sahanafoundation.org/programs/training/

New Software Development Interns Announced.  As part of the Sahana Software Foundation’s internship program, we awarded internships to four software development interns with our Sahana Eden project: Aviral Desgupta (one of the 2012 Google Code-In Grand Prize Winners), Somay Jain (returning intern and 2013 GSOC student), Arnav Sharma and Katherine Papadopoulos.  They will be beginning this month.  We will also soon be announcing a fifth intern to work with our Sahana Vesuvius project to begin next month.  Profiles of the interns and their projects will be posted soon to our website.

Los Angeles County Community Resilience Mapping Tool Training held.  Training took place in late October for the eight “coalitions” that are going to be using Sahana Eden for community resiliency mapping.  You can read more about the community resilience initiative in “LA Builds Resilience through Wide-Ranging Relationships” from the November 2013 issue of Emergency Management Magazine.

Agreement with AidIQ:  This past month, we signed a long-term agreement with AidIQ to provide services to the Sahana Software Foundation at pre-negotiated rates.  This was the first agreement signed based on the responses we received to our open Request For Information issued in 2011.  The agreement will allow the Sahana Software Foundation to be more responsive to project and grant opportunities and will help us build capacity.

Upcoming Events

SahanaCamp@AIT Thailand December 16-17.  There will be a two day SahanaCamp run by SSF DIrector Nuwan Waidyanatha as part of a five-day Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) workshop hosted by the Center of Excellence in the Context of Climate Change in Bangkok, Thailand.  This SahanaCamp is not a technical training but is geared for humanitarian organizations to better understand how to manage information using tools like Sahana software.  For more information, see the event page on the Sahana Eden wiki.  Please contact Nuwan if you are interested in attending.

IOTX Lanka June 16-22, 2014 in Negombo and Colombo, Sri Lanka – SAVE THE DATE and plan to join us for a series of events commemorating the Indian Ocean Tsunami Xth Anniversary and focused on strengthening disaster planning and preparedness.  Planned public events include an Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Workshop, ISCRAM Asia Conference, SahanaCamp Hackathon/Barcamp, a LirneASIA Public Lecture, and of course, the 2014 Sahana Annual General Meeting.

* * * * *

That’s all for this month.  If I’ve missed anything important, please do share your news with the community as well.  And as always, my inbox is always open.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Mark

Go forth and do good!!!

The Sahana Eden based Relief Goods Inventory and Monitoring System (RGIMS) is currently being used by the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for managing the delivery of humanitarian aid across the country.  RGIMS is a web based application that monitors the progress of relief goods in warehouses throughout the country from the time they are first requested by DSWD field offices to their handover to implementing partner and local government units.

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The World Food Programme (WFP) sponsored this program, providing funding for training the IT department from the Philippine government’s Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to customize Sahana Eden to be used to meet their emergency warehousing needs.  Sahana Software Foundation partner AidIQ provided that training last year and the system has been in heavy use since Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda struck the Philippines last month.

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Fran Boon (seated right front) and Graeme Foster (standing rear left) provide training to Philippine Department of Social Welfare & Development on how to develop Sahana Eden solutions in 2012

Currently, the focus is on developing and deploying a portable version at warehouses without internet connectivity.  The pictures in this post were shared with us of RGIMS in action at the Tacloban main warehouse.

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Donations are still needed to support our efforts to assist the people of the Philippines recover from Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.  Please consider a donation today.

Sahana EdenOur next Virtual Sahana Eden Training for New Developers will be Saturday, November 23 at 1700 UTC.

This program was designed for software developers who want to learn how to begin contributing code to Sahana Eden based solutions that support disaster management, emergency management and other humanitarian organizations. The training program will provide an orientation in the technologies that Sahana Eden uses, describe the architecture of the Sahana Eden codebase; identify the steps to install a Sahana Eden developer’s environment; explain how to share code on Git; provide information on where more information about the code can be found and how to communicate effectively with the Sahana community.

The program is planned for 75-90 minutes of instruction followed by 30-45 minutes for questions and answers.

This training is scheduled to best support participants in the 2013 Google Code-In who want to complete coding tasks with the Sahana Software Foundation. Attending the training will be considered a task for GCI upon completion of a short quiz on the content and a survey on the training.

But anyone interested is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Please register here to receive a link to the training:

Sahana Eden New Developer Trainings are held on a quarterly basis, scheduled to best engage new volunteers in support of planned Sahana project activities and events. Future trainings will be scheduled before the 2014 Google Summer of Code in March or April, and before the June Sahana Bar Camp in Colombo, Sri Lanka to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

All sessions will be recorded and training materials will be available on our training page for those unable to attend the live sessions.

 

2013-11-07T120131Z_2_CBRE9A609QG00_RTROPTP_2_PHILIPPINES-TYPHOON-HAIYANThe Sahana Software Foundation is currently working with our long-term partners in the Philippines – the Department of Social Welfare and Development, which has implemented a Sahana Eden based solution for logistics management of humanitarian supplies, and the Philippines Red Cross, a user of the Sahana Eden based IFRC Resource Management System for volunteer management and coordination.  We are also working with IOSN (International Open Source Network) on a potential independent Sahana site  to support civil society groups.

Follow the front page of our website for updates of our work to help the people of the Philippines.

 

The Sahana Software Foundation trained eight Los Angeles County communities last month in the use of its Community Resilience Mapping Tool.  This project is part of a broader initiative on the part of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to build community resilience for disaster and pandemic preparedness.

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SSF’s Michael Howden training Pico Union coalition members on October 23, 2013

You can read more about the community resilience initiative in “LA Builds Resilience through Wide-Ranging Relationships” from the November 2013 issue of Emergency Management Magazine.

The Sahana Software Foundation’s project targets eight community coalitions composed of public health workers and community-based non-profit organizations and provides them with a system for better understanding the hazards and risks in their communities.

The Sahana Community Resilience Mapping Tool provides coalition members with the opportunity to create maps of their neighborhoods that can be overlaid with both census or historical hazard data, as well as important community data such as the location of churches, schools and health facilities.  Sahana’s interactive map allows them to explore different types of data, and to show and compare information about the people, hazards and places located within their communities.  They can chart their progress in growing their coalition (bringing in new members), map vulnerable groups and hazards, manage their trainings, and track important outreach and other community events that help build resilience.

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Home Page of the Sahana Community Resilience Mapping Tool

The system is unique in its bringing together 2010 Census Data, 2011 American Community Survey data, USGS and California Geological Survey Hazards data, FEMA flood zone data,  along with over 70,000 points of interest within LA County (such as schools, churches, health facilities, government offices, municipal services, social services agencies, arts and recreation facilities) from a Los Angeles County database.  No other system has yet to make such data layers available in so easily accessible a form to end users who are not GIS professionals.  I expect great demand for this type of service in other communities around the US seeking to build resilience as well as overseas.  Nothing can help make communities better prepared than having good information about their situation.

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The eight communities receiving training in the Sahana Community Resilience Mapping Tool represent a great degree of diversity within LA County – from densely populated Pico Union – near downtown Los Angeles – to almost rural and sparsely populated Acton & Agua Dolce.  Feedback from the trainings was highly positive and additional training is being planned for early in 2014.

 

 

 

GCI logoGoogle’s Open Source Programs Office announced today that the Sahana Software Foundation has been named one of 10 mentoring organizations for the 2013 Google Code-In.

The Google Code-In is a contest that provides pre-university students with the opportunity to contribute to open source projects in five areas: code, documentation/training, outreach/research, quality assurance, and user interface.  For the Sahana Software Foundation, this is a true community-driven event that provides the opportunity for community members to share their skills and experience to work with students and get things done in a supportive and fun environment.

This year, our GCI program will be administered by 2013 GSOC student Vishrut Mehta, and 2011 & 2012 GSOC student./2013 GSOC mentor Ramindu Deshapriya.  They will be coordinating our task list and mentoring assignments.

 

 

 

Sahana News October 2013

Here’s the next installment of the month Sahana News for October 2013.

News and Announcements

First Virtual Eden Training Held. The first virtual Sahana Eden training for new developers was held on September 30th. We had over 20 persons in attendance and we’ve received great feedback and evaluations. All training materials – including a recording of the session – are available on our training page.  Stay tuned for news on when we’ll scheduled the next one!

Grace Hopper Open Source Day. On October 5, the Sahana Software Foundation participated in the Grace Hopper Open Source Day in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Many thanks to SSF Director Louiqa Raschid for leading our contingent, SSF Member Pat Tressel for being our lead onsite facilitator and University of Maryland undergraduate students Deonna Hodges, Naomi Wilcox and Aboli Kumthekar for assisting. More information about the event can be found on Louiqa’s blog post.

SSF CEO addresses Urgency of Reading Symposium. I just returned from Paris where I spoke at Bibliothèques Sans Frontières’ Urgency of Reading International Symposium.  This event was organized in part by former EUROSHA volunteer and SSF Communications Intern Marine Louvigny, who will be travelling soon to Burundi to arrange for BSF’s Ideas Box to be brought to refugee camps early next year.  Slides are below:

New Communications and Disaster Research Interns Announced. As part of the Sahana Software Foundation’s internship program, we awarded our year-long communications internship to Hannah Schwartz, and four-month disaster research internships to Om Goeckerman and Hanna Maier. See our announcement for more information.

Software Developer and Design Internships Starting Soon. We announced openings for our software development and design internships in late September.  The application period closed earlier this week. Decisions will soon be made with a target start date of the first of November.

Google Code-In. The Google Code-In is being held again this year. SSF Community members Ramindu Deshapriya (GSOC 2011 & 2012) and Vishrut Mehta (GSOC 2013) have volunteered to serve as our “admins”. They will be letting you know how you can help support this program – if we are selected – by mentoring and contributing task ideas.

Upcoming Events

SahanaCamp Vietnam October 29 in Hanoi. Fran Boon will be facilitating a day-long event to introduce practitioners and technologists to Sahana Eden. SahanaCamp Vietnam is scheduled to take place the day before an ISCRAM Asia Conference.

IOTX Lanka June 16-22, 2014 in Negombo and Colombo, Sri Lanka – SAVE THE DATE and plan to join us for a series of events commemorating the Indian Ocean Tsunami Xth Anniversary and focused on strengthening disaster planning and preparedness. Planned public events include an Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Workshop, ISCRAM Asia Conference, SahanaCamp Hackathon/Barcamp, a LirneASIA Public Lecture, and of course, the 2014 Sahana Annual General Meeting.

Sahana Software Foundation Projects

Los Angeles County Community Resilience Mapping Tool. Training is taking place this week and next in Los Angeles for the eight “coalitions” that are going to be using Sahana Eden for community resiliency mapping. I’ll share a report on outcomes next week.

NYC Prepared. Planning continue to deploy a Sahana Eden based platform to support NYC Prepared activities. There is information on the technology strategy on the NYC Prepared site. We’re going to be holding a face-to-face meetup in New York City next month to coordinate.

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That’s all for this month. As always, my inbox is always open. I look forward to hearing from you.

Mark

Go forth and do good!!!

 

 

 

 

Sahana EdenJoin the Sahana Software Foundation online for our first Virtual Sahana Eden Training for New Developers on September 30th at 7:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time (23:30 UTC).

This program was designed for software developers who want to learn how to begin contributing code to Sahana Eden based solutions that support disaster management, emergency management and other humanitarian organizations. The training program will provide an orientation in the technologies that Sahana Eden uses, describe the architecture of the Sahana Eden codebase; identify the steps to install a Sahana Eden developer’s environment; explain how to share code on Git; provide information on where more information about the code can be found and how to communicate effectively with the Sahana community.

The program is planned for 90 minutes of instruction followed by 30 minutes for questions and answers.

The first of these virtual trainings will be held on Monday, September 30th, at 7:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time (23:30 UTC).  This training was scheduled to support new volunteers who wish to contribute to the NYC Prepared Project f0r New York’s Long Term Recovery Groups as well as participants  in the Grace Hopper Open Source Day.  But anyone interested is welcome.

Please register here to receive a link to the training.

We plan to hold these trainings on a quarterly basis, scheduled to best engage new volunteers in support of planned Sahana project activities and events.  Future trainings will be scheduled before the beginning of this year’s Google Code-In (assuming it is being held) in November, before the 2014 Google Summer of Code in March or April, and before the June Sahana Bar Camp in Colombo, Sri Lanka to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

All sessions will be recorded and training materials will be available on our training page for those unable to attend the live sessions.