IOTX Sri Lanka : SahanaCamp

IOTX Sri Lanka : SahanaCamp was a participatory workshop on the use of Disaster Management Information Systems with a focus on the Sahana Open Source Disaster Management Information System. It gave participants

  • An introduction to real-world Sahana disaster management solutions
  • Hands on experience using Sahana to manage information and make decisions in a disaster simulation.
  • Analysis of how disaster management information systems could be used in your organisation

The SahanaCamp was opened by Mr. William Weinstein, Deputy Chief of mission for the US in Sri Lanka as the chief guest.

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His keynote speech was followed by a talk on history of Sahana by Mr. Chamindra De Silva. He has been one of the key person in the development of Sahana and has been involved since the beginning. We came to know about the various phases in the evolution of Sahana.

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Michael Howden from the Sahana Software Foundation gave a session on various deployments of Sahana all around the world.
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These morning sessions were really insightful in the role Sahana has been playing in disaster management around the world. They made me feel great to be part of this organisation 🙂

We also had demonstrations of various deployments of Sahana. I was presenting Los Angeles Community Resilience Mapping Tool (LACRMT). The tool was developed by the Sahana Software Foundation in collaboration with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and RAND corporation. The purpose is to prepare people and organisations of Los Angeles for assessing and responding to any kind of disaster or social disturbance using data and maps. One of the key aim is also to ensure that the community bounces back to its normal social and economic state as soon as possible. The demographic data for the tool is taken and constantly updated from US census and hazard data is from USGS.

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Dominic explaining features of Sahana Eden at the Sahana Camp demo

The highlight of the day was a session by Michael Howden on using Sahana Eden. It was attended by people from organisations involved in disaster and risk management like Red Cross Society. Me and my fellow Google Summer of Code  interns were helping out Michael. Being a developer for Sahana Eden, it was insightful for me to observe people using it. As most of them were new to the software, so we got some ideas of improvement but most of them were able to quickly navigate through the features. After session everyone gave a very positive feedback and the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society guys I was helping out, they were delighted with the mapping tool.

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Michael getting feedback from participants from Sri Lanka Red Cross Foundation

Thank you to the Sahana Software Foundation and Google for supporting me to attended the Sri Lanka IOTX Sahana Events in the beautiful capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo.

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