The eSite is designed to serve as a web platform where GIS data can be accessed, explored and analyzed for different refugee and IDP site planning purposes. The resulting map products are easily deployable and shareable through the platform.
In 2019, the eSite project has advanced considerably, both in terms of defining the needs of its users and in terms of implementation. A first step was to define as closely as possible the needs of the main users of the future eSite platform with appointed focal points for each sector and through the creation of user stories which were translated into functional requirements and grouped into building blocks to be developed with the appropriate technical solutions. The first eSite beta version was implemented on 100% ESRI technologies. This prototype was demoed at several occasions in UNHCR to raise awareness and gauge user acceptance. Further studies and analyses were carried out to compare the advantages, disadvantages and challenges of different technologies that could be used to create a platform like envisaged for eSite. In addition to ESRI tools, selected proprietary and open-source technologies have been included in the benchmarking process. The technical tests and selection of tools for the next eSite development phase will take place during the first semester of 2020.
In 2020 the focus was on improving the guidance. The eSite project was also affected by the COVID-19 crisis. In March 2020, during the first wave of the COVID-19, the UNHCR Public Health team requested the CartONG team to build a dashboard monitoring the situation in refugee contexts. In addition to the case data, this dashboard features field data on COVID-19 preparedness filled at country, field and urban level as well as the Balance Score Card Data collected at the health facility level. Python scripts were written to pull the data into the dashboard and turn aspects of it into a GIS feature service. The data can now be harvested also for other dashboards and has been integrated into the WASH dashboard developed by the WASH team. On eSite, CartONG researched and tested ArcGIS Hub functionalities as well as made further suggestions on how to stratify the user roles. CartONG also continued to build the Borehole application. To know more about this project, please refer to our 2020 Annual Report.