Sahana: The Next Generation

Hello All,

It is my great honor to have been selected as the Chief Executive Officer of the Sahana Software Foundation. The Sahana Software Foundation is an amazing organization with a very rich history. I have to thank both Mark Prutsalis, who has lead Sahana over the past 5 years, all of the volunteers who originally developed Sahana in Sri Lanka, and those who have continued to improve it since. I am really looking forward to working with and supporting our diverse community of contributors in our shared mission to use information management solution to help people affected by disasters. Over the next months, I will be reaching out to everyone in our community to understand how we can best do this.

I have been using technology to support disaster management for almost 10 years since I started volunteering with an NGO working on the Tsunami Recovery Program in Indonesia. This soon took me to remote field offices Pakistan and Uganda training staff to use the simple logistics database I had developed.

Five years ago, I co-founded AidIQ to “help provide intelligent business solutions to the development community.” We chose Sahana as the software platform to do this. Through my work with AidIQ I have supported Sahana solutions for the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UNDP, Los Angeles Emergency Management Department and the Governments of Timor Leste, Nepal and the Philippines.

I will be stepping down as a Director of AidIQ and handing over my responsibilities as Managing Director of AidIQ to Fran Boon. As a founder and director of AidIQ, I bring significant experience in creating a sustainable business doing good in the world with Sahana software. I will leverage this experience during my time as CEO to increase the diversity of the Sahana ecosystem, particularly to support more service providers to build Sahana solutions. To ensure that all users of Sahana get the support they need, I will continue my relationship with AidIQ as a consultant. We are still planning the details of this and welcome any input from the community.

I’m excited to have the opportunity to continue this work as the CEO of the Sahana Software Foundation and look forward to supporting the ongoing development of our software and promoting it around the world. I’m also committed to working to bring the community together behind a shared plan for how we can best achieve our mission. We’ve gotten to this stage through the power of our community’s passions, and retaining and building that joy in collaboration will be an integral part of our success in using information management solution to help people affected by disasters.

It’s going to be an exciting couple of months as we work together to plan our next steps – if you’re interested in getting involved, have ideas to help us in our mission or anything else you would like to discuss, please get in touch. We’ll also be launching a strategic planning process within the next weeks – so watch this space!

I’m still going to be based in New Zealand and am going to start having regular “office hours” every Monday 2100 UTC and Thursday 0400 UTC when I will be available on IRC, Skype and Google+ for anyone who’d like to talk.

Cheers

Michael Howden
CEO, Sahana Software Foundation
michael@sahanafoundation.org
skype: michael.howden
+64 (21) 126-1360
+1 (213) 261-4250
twitter:@michaelhowden

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