Sahana News September 2013

To improve communications about all things Sahana, I am going to undertake to write a short monthly report on news, events, projects, activities that the Sahana Software Foundation is involved with. I’m also going to try posting short notes more frequently on our blog about Sahana activities and welcome other contributors to do the same – just let me know if you’d like to post something and I’ll set you up with an account.

As many of you know, I have issues with keeping things brief…. but here’s my first attempt (and there’s lots of good news to share):

News and Announcements

SSF joins SocialCoding4Good. Thanks to Michael Howden for making introductions and moving this initiative forward, which includes many other impactful HFOSS projects. I’m hopeful this will be a network we can leverage for growing our community and engaging new developers in projects like NYC Prepared (see below). FYI, SSF is also a member of OASIS and an Affiliate of the Open Source Initiative.)

Welcome Aija! Our newest Sahanan has arrived. SSF Director Michael Howden welcomed his first child – daughter Aija Scrimshaw Howden – on September 4, 2013. Congratulations Michael & Kari.

Community Initiated Projects: To replace the role of a Community Development Committee, we are starting a program to support and encourage more initiative to be undertaken by community members. Under this program, anyone can pitch an idea to organize a Sahana event (such as a Sahana meetup at your school or in your city) or to volunteer to coordinate or organize one of our standing roles (such as GSOC admin). Appointment by Committee is no longer necessary, but before putting a “Sahana Software Foundation” hat on an event (or yourself), we ask that you get formal approval. Just fill out a simple form here: and we’ll take it from there. SahanaCamp Vietnam (see below) is the first project approved under this initiative.

Sahana Internship Program Expanded. Based on the success of last year’s Sahana internship program, we decided to expand our program.  (SEE Communications and Disaster Management Research Internships Open for Applications).  We are currently in the process of recruiting two communications interns (for a year-long internship) and a four-month disaster management research intern. We’ll soon be announcing openings for software development interns for the fall and winter. These are all paid, part-time internships suitable for someone currently in or out of school who is interested in gaining experience working for a non-profit organization, with humanitarian free and open source software and/or in the field of emergency and disaster management.

All your forms in one place! Want to attend the Sahana Annual Meeting but can’t remember where the Travel Request form is? Need to complete a Contributor License Agreement before you start your Sahana internship? Now you can find all of our forms in one place on our wiki – most of which are now electronic. The link is here: Please bookmark it.

Outcomes from 2013 Annual Meeting:  Minutes from our annual meeting and outcomes codified by the Board have been posted on the wiki for some time, but I realize no formal announcements of outcomes has been made to the community. A brief summary of the major decisions taken and appointments made by Members and Directors at our 2013 virtual Annual Meeting are:

  • Officers (appointment until next Annual Meeting): Martin Thomsen (Chair), Mark Prutsalis (President & CEO), Louiqa Raschid (Treasurer), Michael Howden (Secretary), Fran Boon (Chair of Products Development Committee), Nuwan Waidyanatha (Chair of Standards and Interoperability Committee), Brent Woodworth (Chairman Emeritus).
  • Directors (3-year term): Mark Prutsalis has been re-elected as a director.
  • Executive Committees: These have all been abolished with the exception of the Financial Oversight Committee.
  • Projects will continue to be governed by a single Product Development Committee, but subcommittees will be formed for each project (Eden and Agasti/Vesuvius) and the full committee will meet only every six months with a view towards considering the formation of fully independent Project Management Committees at a future date.
  • Approval of annual budget, including an expanded year-round internship program, a salaried position for the CEO based on project revenues and expected contributions to SSF.

Upcoming Events 

Virtual Sahana Eden Developers Training (late September or early October – exact date TBA). A 3 hour online training session in how to get started coding with Sahana Eden. The curriculum will feature topics such as: how to set up a developer’s environment, getting and sharing code with git/github, a tour of the Sahana Eden codebase, and how to get help from the community.

Grace Hopper Celebration Open Source Day October 5 in Minneapolis. For the fifth year, the Sahana Software Foundation will be one of the projects featured during the Grace Hopper Celebration’s Open Source Day. SSF Director Louiqa Raschid will be leading our participation along with Sahana Eden Support Manager Pat Tressel. They will be assisted by 3-4 Assistant Facilitators from the University of Maryland, several of which worked with us during last year’s event.

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 in Hanoi.

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 Community Resilience Mapping Tool. We completed work on the first year of this multi-year project for the Los Angeles County of Public Health. The project aims to bring information about hazards and resources to eight communities in Los Angeles County to help them with community resiliency planning. Training is scheduled to take place in October for the “coalitions” of organizations responsible for each community.

NYC Prepared.  Our continued work to support community-based organizations in the New York City area responsible for the long term recovery from Superstorm Sandy has continued throughout the summer. Occupy Sandy has now committed funds to support software development in Sahana Eden and other open source platforms to support the NYC Long Term Recovery Groups. Our initial focus will be on city-wide organization directory (implementing open211 standard) as well as inventory management for organizations with warehouses. There will be an opportunity for Sahana community members to work virtually on features for this project on an hourly basis. More information will be announced soon.

If you are interested in contributing to either of these projects and are new to Eden, please plan to attend the Sahana Eden virtual training later this month.

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I think that covers everything. How did I do? My inbox is always open. I look forward to hearing from you.

Go forth and do good!!!






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