Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Double activation of the SBTF *call for action*


We have two deployments approaching in the upcoming weeks, and everyone is invited to participate. We especially encourage new members to take parts of these deployments to get some training and have a better idea of what we do.


ACAPS ( have activated the SBTF to help improve the data their NGO partners use to assess and analyze the impact of emergencies on populations. Our role is to collect secondary data (ie, information obtainable from the Internet).  We’ll be working on one country (the Democratic Republic of Congo), and using what we learn from it to write preparedness data collection guidelines for other disaster-prone countries.

ACAPS creates the Disaster Needs Assessments (DNA) that go into the field with the deployers immediately after a disaster.  A DNA is a 15 to 20 page document produced during the first couple of days after a (natural) disaster occurs or a protracted crisis escalates. This deployment is important because ACAPS currently takes a couple of days to build a DNA for a crisis. Every hour counts during the DNA process, and we’re helping to speed up that process, by helping ACAPS create pre-crisis “Preparedness DNAs” from the data and processes generated by this deployment, and by helping ACAPS gather live DNA data during future crises.

This is an important deployment for both the ACAPS and the SBTF as it will help us define and set standards for data-intensive deployments. We’d like to call it the “mother of all data deployments”! We look forward to your maximum support and participation in this deployment.

The deployment starts on September 24th (11am GMT/London) with the bulk of the work completed at the end of the day September 30th (11pm GMT).  To join in, please join the deployment’s Ning group. If you are unable to access Ning, please sign up here.

The coordinators of this deployment are Sara (Skype ID: sj.farmer), Estella (Skype ID: brandwood-reeds) and Bharathi (Skype ID: bharathi.ram23) and you can ask them to add you to the dedicated ACAPS Deployment Skype Chat.


Our colleagues at Ushahidi have activated the Standby Volunteer Task Force for an important pilot on the election that Kenya will hold on March 4 next year. This will be the first general election held under the new constitution and a historic event for the country.

The deployment is scheduled on September 17th UTC, starting at  3.00 a.m. UTC ( 06 a.m. Nairobi time, 11 p.m. EST time September 16th) until 9 p.m. UTC (11 p.m. Nairobi time, 4 p.m. EST time) and will cover a real event:  the election in 3 constituencies in Kenya. The amount of data will therefore be limited, but the pilot will be critical to scaling-up the system in March 2013 when the country will face the first presidential elections after the post-election violence in 2007.

The Uchaguzi platform will receive inputs from 200 electoral monitors on the ground and from the crowd through a short code.  A smaller team (around 30 people) in the iHub Nairobi  will help us to process incoming information (most likely via SMS, the Ushahidi mobile app, web forms and media monitoring).

The teams we are activating are Media Monitoring, SMS, Geolocation, Translation (Swahili), Verification and Report.

We definitely encourage you to participate in this one-day pilot if you are available. We also particularly encourage people from time zones GMT + (Europe, Africa and Middle East and Asia) to participate since the first 5 hours of the deployment are happening during the night for people living in the USA.

Ushahidi was first developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the 2007 election, and the platform has come a long way since then.  This will be a unique opportunity to learn, refine our skills, and contribute to improve election monitoring processes.

To participate in the Kenya Election 2012 Pilot deployment, please join the deployment’s Ning group here. Please make sure you sign up here so we can create the schedule for the day.

The coordinators of this deployment are Anahi Ayala (SkypeID: anahiii), Marta Poblet (mpoblet) and Kirk Morris (km5050). You can ask them to add you to the dedicated Kenya Election 2012 Pilot Skype Chats.


We are aware that in September there are three deployments going on, so we encourage all of you to participate in at least one, but not to overcommit yourself.

Also, this will be the only email we are sending to the all SBTF members. If you want to receive updates on the deployment you want to be part of you need to join the  Ning group deployment (the list is here). To do so, follow the links in this email and then click on 'join' in the Ning group page. Once done, you will receive all the updates we sent for that specific deployment in your Ning inbox.

We also encourage you to please bear in mind that if you commit to a deployment it is important that you participate in it. Scheduling volunteers’ time can be very tricky for us sometimes and, even if we do understand that we are all volunteers and that sometimes it is difficult to schedule time in our busy life, we encourage you all, before signing up, to make sure that you will respect your commitment, because this can make our life much easier!

One Map, One Love!

The SBTF Core Team

Visit Standby Task Force at:

No comments: