How Technology is Helping Improve Response to Disasters

How Technology is Helping Improve Response to Disasters

Gov CIO Outlook | Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Technology cannot substitute the essential resources people require in a crisis, but it is revolutionizing disaster relief efforts and paving the path for a new humanitarian relief strategy.

FREMONT, CA: Digital solutions are being brought to areas that earlier lacked access to technology, such as the non-profit sector, due to technological advancement. Due to the fast pace of development, one of technology's biggest significant societal advantages may be found in the humanitarian sector, which must contact vast numbers of people in distant and hazardous regions to deliver crucial resources quickly and effectively.

Aerial robotics to big data analytics, advanced technology has the potential to improve the efficiency and responsiveness of humanitarian relief efforts, allowing them to reach more people quickly, more cost-efficiently to save more lives.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, are one type of aerial robotics that can change humanitarian relief. Companies may more efficiently map terrain, analyze damage in real-time, boost situational awareness utilizing high-resolution mapping, and deliver products faster, cheaper, and more effectively with this technology.

Technology breaks down obstacles to enable connectivity

Basic connectivity is a type of help that connects individuals to critical resources and allows humanitarian agencies to send life-saving information in a crisis immediately.

When tragedy strikes, Cisco's Tactical Operations (TacOps) uses the newest mobile networking technology, such as cloud-controlled Meraki technology, to restore connectivity much faster than government or local providers can manage.

Mobile solutions offer a new way for organizations

Relief communications have advanced due to the evolution of mobile and social media solutions. It involves the creation of a feedback loop in which data is used to generate a more in-depth and real-time understanding of sector and service user demands, resulting in faster, more efficient actions that benefit beneficiaries.

The World Food Program (WFP), for example, is responsible for assisting 80 million people in 80 countries every year transporting three million tons of food. WFP's Mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) employs mobile technology to overcome the challenge of collecting aggregate and manual data, often resulting in obsolete and wasteful data.

The WFP and Cisco are looking into using SMS and voice response technology (IVR) to gather data directly from beneficiaries, making it feasible to collect responses quickly and affordably from some of the world's most vulnerable people. They will experiment with the usage of chatbots to allow beneficiaries and organizations to communicate even more extensively.

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