CrisisCamp AAR - City Profile - Christchurch, New Zealand

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Written by Heather Leson for CrisisCommons in collaboration with Gavin Threadgold

There was one CrisisCamp in New Zealand for Haiti response attended by 4 people. Gavin Treadgold heard about CrisisCamp DC in 2009. He joined the first CrisisCommons conference call to action after the earthquake in Haiti. CrisisCamp New Zealand/SahanaCamp held their first event in Wellington, NZ on January 17, 2010. The small team (under 10 people) primarily focused on supporting22 the recent deployment of Sahana Eden at haiti.sahanafoundation.org.

Lessons Learned

  • CrisisCamps should include more engagement with emergency managers to better understand and identify requirements of IT for emergency management. This mandate should include a clear understanding of what standards exist (and need to be developed), interoperability of tools, and avoidance of duplicate efforts. CrisisCamps should use existing platforms such as Sahana or Ushahidi where applicable.
  • CrisisCommons has a lot of potential to act as a means of prototyping new apps and capabilities. Volunteers may benefit from personal preparedness and introductory emergency management training. CrisisCommons has the potential to provide a good neutral umbrella for multiple projects, startups, and ideas that do not exist under other existing organizations, such as Ushahidi and Sahana. CrisisCommons has a lot of potential to act as a breeding ground for potential developers for existing projects.

Of note, Treadgold also attended Random Hacks of Kindness 1.0 (June 2010) in Sydney, Australia and collaborated with the Australian team. CrisisCamps in New Zealand and Australia plan to collaborate more for Asia Pacific camps.