Dear partners, members, volunteers and supporters,
As 2014 is drawing to a close, it is time to outline the year’s achievements.
Like many other humanitarian organizations, CartONG was involved in the Ebola crisis, which mobilized the staff for most of the year, both remotely and in the field. Being useful in helping medical teams on the ground through mapping was both a rewarding and meaningful experience .
Nevertheless, many other projects have made it a very eventful year : first with the GeOnG 2014, on the theme “Turning your data into actionable knowledge”, which turned out to be a successful edition; then, with volunteer projects such as the mapping of the humanitarian and development initiatives in Madagascar (to help organizations to getting to know each other locally) or the launch of the Missing Maps initiative around Open Street Map with a presentation of this initiative and more generally of our projects to President Francois Hollande during the Social Good Week. You can find our more by reading below!
We wish you all a very Happy Christmas - and a year 2015 full of exciting and promising new projects- and a heartfelt thank you for your support that makes these types of projects possible for us!
Maeve de France,
Overview of 2014 projects
While we developed a lot data collection in 2013, 2014 has allowed us to diversify our activities, thanks to many different partners, old but also new ones:
- Ignited last year, the collaboration with Doctors Without Borders-Switzerland has strengthened this year with the deployment of 6 GIS officers to contribute to the Ebola response. The sound collaboration and tools created while defining a GIS strategy, creating a Map Centre, and several remote activations during humanitarian crisis have paved the way for these successful deployments. This collaboration is following our core philosophy of adapting and respecting our partner's activities and values.
- We also continued our ArcGIS server implementation for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. This should facilitate information circulation between the organization’s headquarters and its operations.
- We kept on supporting the UNHCR's Public Health section Nutrition Survey (SENS) for mobile data collection, both through field trainings (Burkina Faso, Jordan, Ethiopia, Chad, Cameroon) and through testing and documenting tools. We have also supported a survey by Joint IDPs Profiling Service (JIPS, a humanitarian consortium including UNHCR) on Internally Displaced Persons in Ivory Coast.
- We have also supported various organizations in their surveys with mobile data collection: International Media Support in Iraq on the information and communication means access condition for refugees in Kurdistan; the Kader NGO (supported by Foundation Caritas Luxembourg) on the situation of Syrian refugees and IDPs; IMPACT Initiatives in Turkey too; Terre des Hommes-Switzerland on Food Security in Burkina Faso and on emergency deployments from HQ (wash and shelter); the Education Cluster in Mali (remotely) on the situation of schools in the North of the country. We also supported the Solidarités International teams in Mali on database management.
- Trainings on MDC for Kader and IMPACT in Turkey have also benefited from a follow-up session on GIS tools, allowing our partners to become autonomous on the whole information management process, from data collection to visualization.
- Within the frame of the three year partnership signed with the UNICEF Western and Central Africa Regional Office, we deployed an information manager in Bangui (Central African Republic) to back up the crisis response mechanism, especially on data use and sharing.
- We have conducted many training courses this year, shorter sessions on data management (Solidarités International, REACH) or on GIS (future logs studying at Bioforce Institute), but also longer sessions like the one we designed for Triangle Génération Humanitaire with a custom training based on their needs and existing tools in mapping and information management.
- On a different topic, we successfully deployed a volunteer in Haiti to realize Unmanned Aerial Vehicule flights and use the imagery collected for OSM mapping. This project, supported by the French OpenStreetMap chapter, also had a capacity building objective for the Haitian OSM communities. It allowed us to enhance the cooperation with the OSM network, that was already strong thanks to the activations of the Humanitarian OSM Team for digitizing in the Ebola crisis.
Feedback on GeOnG 2014
Like every even year, we again organized the GeOnG, the key event on geographic information for relief & development!
144 participants from more than 70 organizations have come to question the ability to process all the data produced and shared by new technologies and turn it into relevant information, hence "turning data into actionable knowledge".
8 roundtables on topical themes (information in health and epidemiology; volunteers and crowd sourcing; access/use of satellite imagery; data analysis, visualization and data sharing from HQ to field; maintaining indicators; data for donors; etc.), 16 training workshops delivered by specialists on innovative tools or data management essentials (ArcGIS, CartoDB, KoBo, mobile OSM, multi-stakeholders surveys, UAV imagery, R software, advanced Excel, HXL, GeoJSON, etc.), a plenary, a keynote speaker (Dr. Philippe Calain of MSF-CH on ethics in data management) and the speed geeking allowed intensive discussions and sharing between participants.
The speakers' presentations are available on our website, as are the photos- the videos from the conferences will also soon be published.
We'd like to warmly thank our sponsors who made this event possible, all the speakers for their captivating interventions, the various actors and volunteers who helped in organizing the event and of course all the participants that contribute to making the GeOnG such a special event.
Perspectives for 2015
As you have seen through this newsletter, 2014 was a year full of novelties for CartONG: besides reoccurring deployments of GIS officers on the field on a major humanitarian crisis, we have also widened our skills, met new partners, as well as strengthened our team with 5 permanent staff at headquarters, in addition to the field staff.
We intend to continue in that direction, which allows us to offer optimal services to our partners in every areas of information management, but also to explore new tools. We thus keep with CartONG's original vision of a shared mapping and information service available for the various actors of humanitarian response and development.
- The CartONG team