SahanaCamp is a program of the Sahana Software Foundation’s Deployment and Training Program. The main goal of the SahanaCamp program is to quick-start deployments of Sahana software while building a local support community for local or national emergency and disaster response organizations. A SahanaCamp may provide attendees with:

  • an understanding of how Sahana Software can help manage information before, during and after disasters;
  • a practical technical workshop to provide instruction in how Sahana Software can be deployed within and across organizations;
  • a forum to discuss and share best practices in the use of information tools for disaster and emergency management, which may include simulations and exercises.

The SahanaCamp Program

SahanaCamp is typically held over a 2- to 4-day period and provides a variety of experiences for attendees to work with Sahana software from both a user and a technical perspective. We prefer to provide not only technical training to software developers because we believe in pairing technical understanding with a solid foundation in disaster management requirements of local governmental and humanitarian organizations. A SahanaCamp will typically include all three of the following components:

Disaster Management Sessions – these sessions are typically designed for a diverse audience, and in particular target stakeholders from governmental disaster relief and local humanitarian agencies who have information management challenges that Sahana software might help address. Tailored to the audience and their needs, these sessions can provide training in emergency management and disaster response principles, best practices in information management in the disaster/emergency management context and, provide a detailed demonstration of Sahana software’s capabilities, including a hands-on opportunity for participants to use and provide feedback on the utility of Sahana software for their organization, and to discuss ways in which Sahana software might be deployed within and across the organizations attending the SahanaCamp. These sessions can run from 1/2 day to a full day in length; attendance by developers/technical staff is highly encouraged in order to ensure that a firm foundation is laid in understanding the user requirements for Sahana software as well as the environment in which it must operate to be an effective tool. Space permitting, these sessions are designed to accommodate up to 50 persons in attendance.

Technical Training and Workshop – these sessions are designed to provide participants with technical training in how to install, deploy and customize Sahana software (currently our Sahana Eden software product). It typically includes sessions on the technical design and framework of Sahana software, as well as step-by-step instruction in how to customize an existing Sahana module or how to build a new module. Ample time is given for attendees to work in groups as well as individually. Technical breakout sessions may be organized in areas such as GIS/mapping, web services, synchronization, installation on a hosted server, or on other topics based on the demands and interests of the participants. The technical training and workshop should run a minimum of 2 full days to gain the greatest benefit for the participants. The technical sessions are typically designed to accommodate up to 25 persons, but larger numbers can be accommodated based on the availability of additional facilitators.

Disaster Simulation and/or Exercise – a SahanaCamp may include (or be wholly organized around) a disaster simulation and/or an exercise that helps demonstrate how Sahana software is used in an actual disaster scenario. This may be accomplished as part of the Disaster Management sessions – by way of introduction to the software – or done as part of a separate exercise to provide guidance to the technical workshop. A disaster simulation and/or an exercise can be completed in about two to three hours of program time.

Organizing Principles

The Sahana Software Foundation seeks to organize SahanaCamps in locations – cities or countries – where a number of organizations have expressed an interest in adopting Sahana software for humanitarian or charitable purposes and there has been an identified need or request to the Sahana Software Foundation from a governmental or humanitarian organization for either technical or disaster management training.  A SahanaCamp may also be organized for educational or outreach purposes to support the goals of Sahana’s Community Development Committee, which includes the promotion of diversity and recruitment of and support for an active volunteer community, or the Sahana Software Foundation’s Advocacy program.

Ideally, a SahanaCamp will be held in support of a local existing or proposed deployment of Sahana software, such that the SahanaCamp can serve to extend the reach of that deployment to additional organizations and help build a local professional network of technical support. This was a highly successful model for the SahanaCamp programs organized in Taipei, Lisbon, and Los Angeles.

In keeping with the humanitarian and charitable nature of the Sahana Software Foundation, we strive to make a SahanaCamp free for participants to attend and be an open invitation to anyone who wishes to attend within the space limitations of the site. Attendees will be encouraged to become contributors to the Sahana Software Foundation. SahanaCamps are not intended to provide training to organizations for the private or commercial use of Sahana software, or for those organizations who do not plan to contribute back code or other materials to the Sahana Software Foundation.

If you are interested in hosting or organizing a SahanaCamp for your city or organization, please contact sahanacamp@sahanafoundation.org.

Target audience

The typical audience of a SahanaCamp includes local and national government, charitable/voluntary non-governmental organizations, educational, academic and research institutions, emergency management professionals, open source software developers and the private sector interested in technology solutions for the challenges of disaster information management.

Sponsor the SahanaCamp Program

The SahanaCamp program requires $60,000 annually in donor funding to support four SahanaCamps per year for travel expenses, the time of our facilitators and materials required to deliver the SahanaCamp program.  We also seek donated sites in locations we organize SahanaCamps, as well as meals and refreshments from local sponsors, in order to make a SahanaCamp possible within this budget.

If you are interested in sponsoring the SahanaCamp program or have suggestions for where a SahanaCame should be held, please contact sahanacamp@sahanafoundation.org or donate directly via Paypal (list the purpose as SahanaCamp program).

History

The Sahana Software Foundation has previously organized the following SahanaCamps:

SahanaCamp Vietnam @ ISCRAM Asia – October 2013 – Hanoi, Vietnam – held the day before an ISCRAM Asia Conference, this event provided participants a feel for the various Sahana-Eden solutions in community resilience mapping, vulnerability mapping, volunteer management, incident reporting, assessments, and news feeds.  An afternoon technical session allowed developers to get deep into the code, with installing the Sahana-Eden software development package on their own laptops; then developing their own module.

SahanaCamp NYC – May 2012 – New York, New York - attended by an audience representative of the diverse user and contributor base of the Sahana Software Foundation.  This included representatives from the United Nations, non-profit charities the Salvation ArmyAmerican Red Cross and World Cares Center; students, professors and researchers from Clark University, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness and the Center for International Earth Science Information at Columbia University, the City University of New York, independent technologists, sponsors IBM and Sahana Software Foundation contributors in town for our annual meeting.

SahanaCamp LA – November 2011 – Los Angeles California – organized around the adoption and deployment of Sahana software by the City of Los Angeles, SahanaCamp LA provided training to a diverse group of attendees from numerous organizations from the area and beyond, including the City of Los Angeles IT Agency; the Los Angeles Fire Department, the City of Inglewood, American Red Cross Chapters of Greater Los Angeles and Orange County; Southern California’s VOAD coordinator ENLA, IT consultants and GIS professionals, Sahana community members and a representative from the UN World Food Programme in Rome.

SahanaCamp@ISCRAM – May 2011 – Lisbon, Portugal – held in conjunction with the 7th ISCRAM conference, SahanaCamp@ISCRAM offered participants a disaster workshop and hands-on experience with all three of Sahana Software products – Mayon, Vesuvius and Eden. The experience of attending SahanaCamp@ISCRAM has led to the nationwide adoption of Sahana Eden with the Bombeiros – the National Association of Volunteer Firefighters – in Portugal.

SahanaCamp 1.2 – November 2010 – Vietnam – this SahanaCamp provided training to 20 participants from the Red Cross, local NGOs, UN and governmental agencies, local technology companies and IBM, who sponsored and hosted the event.

SahanaCamp 1.1 – August 2010 – Taipei, Taiwan – organized to support the SahanaTaiwan effort to deploy and use Sahana software throughout Taiwan, this SahanaCamp provided training to the SahanaTaiwan team from the Research Center for Information Technology Innovation at Academia Sinica. the Institute for Information Industry, the Taiwanese Red Cross, the Frontier Foundation and other organizations.

SahanaCamp 1.0 – July 2010 – New Delhi, India – organized to support Sahana’s Google Summer of Code students from India, the first SahanaCamp was attended by several GSOC students and mentors as well as members of the Sahana Taiwan team.