Dear supporters and members of CartONG,
We are reaching the end of a special year for us, since 2016 was the 10th anniversary of our organization. We had a great opportunity to celebrate it with our founders, partners and friends during GeOnG 2016 in Chambéry. We also used this chance to prepare a video on this journey, that will allow you to better know CartONG : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-xB-jlLeWw
2016 was also another year of growth for the organization, with a new office, a team now reaching 10 permanent staff and a growing number of volunteers - and it is not over, we currently have 3 positions open, feel free to disseminate them! We hope this diversified and reinforced team will allow us to provide always better support to all our partners.
We have launched the new version of our website, with improved contents. Don't miss the video "Know nothing about humanitarian mapping", it gives a great first overview of what humanitarian GIS & IM specialists do. Our director Sandra Sudhoff & expert Timo Lüge also wrote an in-depth analysis on "Humanitarian Assistance in the Information Economy: The Role of Information Management", published by IRIS.
The new website & GeOnG were also an opportunity to release the first CartONG portfolio as well as a training offer that will give you a better overview of how we could help you.
Finally, this year was also an opportunity to reinforce our integration with the humanitarian ecosystem, both with "traditional" NGOs by joining Coordination Sud, but also within the innovation organizations, by being actively involved in the new Humanitarian2humanitarian group. We will keep pushing for reinforced collaborations in order to continue improving the quality of humanitarian action together.
As you can see, another busy year for CartONG. It was a pleasure to spend these first 10 years with you, colleagues, partners, friends & sympathizers, and we hope you will carry on with us for another decade!
It is now time to wish you all an happy holidays season; see you in 2017 for another exciting year!
Our projects in 2016
Médecins Sans Frontières remains our biggest partner, in 2016 we have started to implement a 2016-2019 strategy that has made the GIS Unit a service for the whole MSF movement as we continued expanding the range of activities developed for them. Besides support via the creation of maps (around 150 activations this year, available on ReliefWeb when public), we have organized 5 different trainings from basic GIS users to most advanced GIS specialists. We have supported 16 deployments, 4 national & 2 expat GIS technicians on outbreaks, water and sanitation purposes or camp mapping deployments.
Those activities allowed us to build a stronger base and services on offer for the different sectors. CartONG participated to the creation on different documents such as a portfolio or lessons learned from field experience for internal promotional purpose. From a technical point of view, we have continued to improve and create new tools such as the briefing map (an online tactical platform) and various dashboard using different technologies (KoBo Toolbox, Collector for ArcGIS and ArcGIS Server). We have started to develop a new version of the MSF Map Centre including an embedded portal to monitor map requests, which has also strengthened our IT infrastructure.
The partnership with Terre des Hommes-Lausanne increased significantly over the second half of the year, with - on top of the Mobile Data Collection hotline and benchmarking, helping them define their HR strategy and creating internal outreach products - the support on the development of the WASH in Health Facility Evaluation Tool (composed of both the mobile component and a Power BI dashboard to visualize results) and a benchmarking of case management tools for the Protection field. This last project comprised the evaluation of needs (with numerous NGOs of the sector interviewed and the definition of field needs using the Agile methodology), the benchmarking of potential tools and beyond technical aspects helping Tdh work out amongst the different scenarios that emerged which were the most relevant to their needs and constraints.
With the Public Health section of UNHCR, besides continued support on their Mobile data collection (MDC) projects remotely and in the field (SENS nutrition surveys, WASH Knowledge Attitudes and Practises surveys, Health Access and Utilization Surveys, trainings, forms improvement), we also started to develop new tools, including the integration of mapping components in survey reporting as well as sector based interactive maps, for instance for boreholes. Furthermore we continued to work on user friendly Excel reporting and analysis tools which are easy to use in environments with poor internet connections.
We worked with the Field Information and Coordination Support Section of UNHCR on implementing elements of their GIS strategy, creating web mapping tools and setting up interactive sector maps for instance Rapid RASP for CCCM as well as developing UNHCR’s map portal. We are also active on the topic of camp mapping, which includes creation of the mapping platform, databases and Standard Operating Procedures as well as successfully piloting them in the field, with four pilots so far in Mauritania, Rwanda and Zambia as well as Tanzania which we supported remotely.
We continued supporting Solidarités International with a follow-up training mission in Central African Republic on a complex beneficiaries database we set up last year and a "hotline" for the advanced MDC questions they can't figure out themselves.
We finalized the Ushahidi platform and a heatmap for Danish Demining Group in Vietnam to inform on mine risks, including SMS reporting. For DDG’s Ukraine project, we supported the development of a web platform for Mine Risk Education, consisting of web page, Ushahidi platform and SMS reporting.
We supported UNICEF and their implementing partner Central African Red Cross on mobile data collection and information management to monitor 60 projects in the country.
We continued our training cycles at the Bioforce humanitarian school in Lyon; the partnership will grow in 2017 with a first training in Dakar in the autumn.
We organized a GIS training for Handicap International’s team in Lebanon and are looking into additional GIS support with them next year.
We conducted a support mission for Action Against Hunger-US in South Sudan. The objective was to implement a platform to monitor water points in the Northern Bahr el Ghazal Region. After testing different tools, we selected the AKVO Flow platform, set it up for ACF and helped them and their governmental partners master it. We are now producing maps to allow them to better analyze the results..
We organized with iMMAP, UNHCR and Solidarités Int. a new NOMAD workshop in January in Amman, Jordan (106 participants from 40 organizations, 11 providers presenting), and relaunch the project with a new website, a major update of the online assistant to compare solutions, and an online Slack community to facilitate communication between MDC practitioners - please get in touch if you want to join it!
Focus: Drones in humanitarian action
We have concluded the ECHO-funded research in partnership with Fondation Suisse de Déminage, the UAViator network and Zoi Environment to consolidate knowledge on the use of drones in the humanitarian context. Over the last year and a half, this research project has included the following components:
All these have fed the final report published in December that provides the first comprehensive & independent research on the use of drones for humanitarian purposes.
Thanks to FSD and ECHO for offering us the opportunity to participate to this fundamental work that will undoubtedly shape the future use of drones by humanitarians. We are now looking for opportunities to implement the good practices and experience acquired during the project in the field, with our current partners or new ones!
2016 was the take-off year for the Missing Maps project in France: we organized or supported 30 mapathons all around France (and in Austria & Spain!) with more than 800 participants, including a 100-participants mapathon in Paris as part of the Open Government Partnership summit in December. We also worked on strengthening the connection between mapathon volunteers and field staff (with regular feedback), improving data validation, and develop new advanced activities (digitization of paper maps, data integration, often in partnership with the MSF team). Our effort next year will focus on regular mapathon in Paris (with MSF) and Geneva, develop local development projects and partner up with universities.
We also started two projects in cooperation with French municipalities to map their twin cities with people from the two countries: one with Ivry-sur-Seine and Dianguirdé (Mali), and the other with our hometown Chambéry and Ouahigouya (Burkina Faso). The map can then be used by local developers for many purposes (water & sanitation projects for instance). This is a very nice format that allows citizens' participation in development project and we will try to replicate it next year!
We have finalized the first version of the webmapping platform for the National Committee for the Fight against AIDS (Comité National de Lutte contre le SIDA, CNLS) to help them monitor the projects of the civil society in the country and identify gaps. We are now fundraising to cover a training mission for volunteers in Madagascar, and still working on the replication of the platform for the Atlas Solidarité Madagascar.
We just launched a new project to develop a mapping platform on natural features of the Parc National du Niokolo-Koba in Sénégal, get in touch if you want to contribute!
We also contributed to the MapFugees project lead by HOT to map refugees camp in the North of France (Dunkerque & Calais) with the residents of the camps.
If you're interested in our volunteer activities, please check our Trello board that sums up our current projects & needs but also ideas!
Finally, we have presented CartONG during various events (ESRI’s GIS for a sustainable world, FOSS4G-Fr, State Of The Map-France, Marché des continents in Chambéry, Zama Aix with the malgache diaspora, Convergences in Paris, HOT Summit, GICHD Mine Action Technical Workshop, Salons des métiers de l'humanitaire in Annemasse) and to raise awareness on humanitarian mapping in several universities (Carthagéo, Réseau Projection, Basque Country Univ., Cergy, Heidelberg) and to a larger audience.
Focus: GeOnG 2016
CartONG was hosting this year the fifth edition of our conference GeOnG in Chambéry, on October 17th to 19th. In the frame of CartONG's 10th anniversary, we chose the topic “lessons from the past, shaping the future”. The aim was to tackle the role of new technologies (GIS, GPS, mobiles solutions, remote sensing, drones…) in today’s and tomorrow’s humanitarian intervention.
We had the pleasure to welcome around 150 participants who were extremely satisfied with the contents and organization of the conference (96.5% according to our survey!). Thanks to all the speakers and workshop facilitators that have allowed high level panel discussions and state-of-the-art tool presentations.
Beside the plenary session, roundtables on a wide range of topic (from drones to big data, case management tools, crowdsourcing, technical local communities, Digital Data Scramble, data protection, etc.), our now expected speed geeking, we also added for this special edition an extra day of in-depth training workshops.
We also organized a Missing Maps mapathon and a special party for CartONG's anniversary with our latest innovative mapping product: a globe in cupcakes!
If you missed the event, the presentations are already published on our website, the video will soon follow and you can also check the Storify to re-live the GeOnG!
We're now looking forward for the next edition in 2018 and are cordially inviting our partners and other organizations to get in touch if they want to be involved in the preparation to help us make it even better!
Thanks to our partners, in particular our long-term main supporter ESRI, our core sponsors Responsible Result, Geodesk, and Chambéry, as swell as Mapbox, MAIF, Camptocamp, SMAP consulting, Airbus & RSM.
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