Sahana News (Belatedly for) November 2013

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.

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.

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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.


Go forth and do good!!!

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