In August 2017, CartONG signed the Global Healthsites Mapping Project’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a partnership with Healthsites.io focused on the development of an open data online map of every health-care facility in the world.
The Global Healthsites Mapping Project was initiated during the Ebola response by Mark Herringer, Tim Sutton and Dražen Odobašić. This innovative initiative – to create an online map of every health facility in the world and make the details of each location easily accessible – was subsequently launched through The Red Innovation Unit of the The International Committee of the Red Cross at the Global Partnership for Humanitarian Impact and Innovation (GPHI2) in Lausanne on March, 3rd 2016.
In a situation of armed conflict, natural disaster or disease outbreak, knowing where the nearest health-care facilities are, and which types of resources and services they offer is critical for first responders. Healthsites.io aims to become a reference point for health-care workers, aid agencies and government agencies in their response to emergency and crisis situations. It also strives to enable the available data to serve as a resource for members of the general public, healthcare service providers, governments and other institutional actors to improve local populations’ access to primary health care, with support for people with disabilities and women and girls, and WASH programs.
Healthsites is an open development initiative, where health facility data is freely available to everyone and everyone can contribute by authenticating through a social media account, and easily adding, updating or sharing data on Healthsites.io. The ultimate goal of the project is to create a data life cycle with OpenStreetMap (OSM) – where imported OSM data is validated and improved by users and humanitarian organizations and then saved back to OSM (see model here).
Since 2016, the Global Healthsite Mapping Project has grown into a partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Hospital Federation (IHF), Médecins Sans Frontières GIS Unit (MSF Switzerland), the Health Care in Danger Project and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team – a partnership to which CartONG is now hoping to contribute.
As a strong believer of, and an active member of the open data community, CartONG is always committed to support initiatives of a similar design and magnitude as Healthsites.io. As new partners, CartONG and Healhsites’ initial focus will be on the evolution of the baseline health facility attributes. Initially developed by the International Hospital Federation this baseline of health facility attributes will be aligned with OpenStreetmap and lay the foundation for the data life cycle.
CartONG and Healthsites are also currently collaborating with the Netherlands Red Cross, the Malawi Red Cross Society and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, on launching a data collaborative to support Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Malawi. More precisely, the project will be conducted as a pilot to develop an innovative grass-root monitoring methodology to monitor a specific sets of SDGs indicators (3.3, 3.8, 6.1 and 6.2).
The project will be kicked off by a field mission in the DRC in the coming months to:
The ultimate hope of the project is that the pilots in the DRC and Malawi be duplicable to support more SDGs indicators and be operational in other countries.
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You too can be a part of the Healthsites initiative by joining Healthsites.io here! All you need is a Facebook or Twitter account.