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Webmap of CartONG missions for Médecins Sans Frontières-Switzerland

Latest Activities for Médecins Sans Frontières-Switzerland

Emergency mapping deployments during Ebola crisis (MSF)
Jan / 2014 to Dec / 2015

Direct GIS support has been provided for MSF in 2014-2015. First deployments were to support their Ebola response in the 3 most affected countries. As GIS gained in popularity within the movement, more GIS missions were requested, for other epidemics such as Measles, Dengue, etc.

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GIS strategy 2013-2015, Map Centre and mapping (MSF-CH)
Jul / 2013 to Dec / 2015

MSF Switzerland initiated in 2012 a reflection on the value of GIS in their operations. The last quarter of 2013 saw the beginning of a strong collaboration between MSF-CH and CartONG. We support MSF-CH in defining their needs and are putting into place the first 2-years plan GIS strategy.

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GIS Strategy 2016-2019 (MSF)
Apr / 2015

Following the first strategy of 2013-2015, CartONG worked together with MSF Switzerland in defining the evolution of GIS in MSF-CH to support the movement for the period of 2016-2019.

As part of the 2016-2019 strategy, CartONG acts as technical partner and, to this end, provides support in mapping & GIS through the MSF GIS Unit, as well as in mobile data collection (MDC) and capacity building (training workshop in "GIS Basic", in advanced GIS, etc.). Occasionally, CartONG staff gets deployed in the filed to support the whole MSF movement.

During the first year of the strategy, we supported 17 field missions covered by 8 GIS Specialists for a total of 135 weeks. Our training offer also increased, we organized 3 one-week trainings for GIS basic skills, GIS specialists and GIS focal points. We 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 other key development was the Briefing tool, integrated in the MSF Map Centre. Learn more by reading our 2016 Annual Report.

During the second year of the 2016/2019 partnership, more than 300 paper maps were created on ArcGIS to answer the needs of MSF missions. Important work was also conducted regarding the creation of the first few Country Kits for MSF. In 2017,we also gave remote support to MSF teams deployed in the occurrence of a crisis. In total,we have supported 24 field missions covered by 12 GIS specialists for a total of 171 weeks. We have also supported 8 local cartographers in the field to respond to diseases outbreaks, to facilitate the implementation of WASH programs, and to map refugee camps. We also continued our work on the Map Centre and the Briefing Tool, and we developed some key products such as the "EpiMaps" (epidemiological maps). Lastly, CartONG has taken an active and significant part in the writing of the proposal for the"GEOMSF project" which was validated during the first semester of 2017. The GEOMSF project will allow the scaling of services currently offered by the GIS Unit. Learn more by reading our 2017 Annual Report.

During the third year of the 2016/2019 partnership, the mapping team continued working on the country kits and further developing thematic maps related to the WASH and epidemiology sectors, while answering direct mapping requests, often related to emergencies. In 2018, a total of 280 maps were produced and we covered 3 major crisis for which we were activated in rush mode. We also worked on the structuring of the reference databases, and released the Map Centre v2. The new Map Centre contains more contextual pages and also more useful tools for GIS and non GIS people. In 2018, we also created a total of 7 new web applications on top of the 6 previous released ones that we have continued to maintain. In addition, we gave remote support to MSF teams deployed in emergency settings. In total, we supported 28 field missions covered by 16 GIS specialists for a total of 204 weeks. Our training offer also grew, and we re-organized the 4 one-week training sessions for GIS basic skills, MDC, GIS specialists and GIS focal points. Lastly, CartONG took an active part in the "GEOMSF project". CartONG is participating with 2 hats, one as the "client" of GEOMSF as part of the MSF GIS Unit, helping and supporting the needs definition, and one as "technical advisor" during the first phase of the project which focuses on analysis and the architecture definition in order to develop a common vision of the next platform, tools and processes for the GIS Unit. Learn more by reading our 2018 Annual Report.

During the fourth and last year of the 2016/2019 partnership, we developped a new overall GIS platform and worked on the new strategy for the GIS Unit for the 2020-2023 period. Moreover, our main goal in 2019 was to look at ArcGIS Pro in order to undertake a migration from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro during the year so as to align the technologies with the GeoMSF new infrastructure. Training, tutorials and webinars were conducted to introduce the GIS Unit to this new software. We also continued our effort on producing reference maps and created a new product called EasyMap in order for the non-GIS staff to be able to create their own location maps. In total in 2019, we have produced a total of 150 PDF maps on 26 countries and 9 webmaps: 3 of them from scratch and 6 by using ArcGIS Online applications. The webdev team worked on the production of offline apps, such as epidemiologic webmaps, as well as maintaining the Map Centre v2 by implementing improvements and managing bug fixing throughout the year. We also gave remote support to MSF teams deployed in different contexts. In total, we accompanied 20 field missions covered by 11 GIS specialists from our headquarters. We also supported 11 long-term GIS specialists on building capacity and sharing their work within the organization. The use of ArcGIS online applications, webmaps or dashboards was also improved and required strong technical support from our side. Learn more by reading our 2019 Annual Report.

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