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The Value of ICT in Humanitarian Relief Efforts

By Wayan Vota on November 15, 2010

Mark Summer, Inveneo‘s Chief Innovation Officer, also leads our effort to bring needed information and communication technologies to Haiti. As part of Inveneo’s contribution to the Clinton Global Initiative 2010 Annual Meeting, he wrote an article on our activities in Haiti for the Innovations Journal, a quarterly publication from MIT Press about entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges.

An excerpt from The Value of Information and
Communication Technologies in Humanitarian Relief Efforts

For many disaster response veterans, the Haiti earthquake represents a turning point in our collective thinking about the value of ICTs in humanitarian relief efforts. A range of ICT-focused initiatives have demonstrated that technology — from accessing detailed maps of the affected area, to turning simple SMS messages into life-saving systems, to establishing broadband Internet connectivity to humanitarian organizations — improves both the speed and substance of relief efforts.

The impact of these voluntary and even spontaneous initiatives was real, measurable, and widely publicized. Their success, even in the absence of any planning or coordination, hints at the true potential of ICTs to revolutionize disaster preparedness and response.

Download and read Mark’s article of the play-by-play account of Inveneo’s efforts to reestablish connectivity for humanitarian organizations working in Port-au-Prince immediately after the earthquake, as well as the impact of and challenges involved in those efforts.

He explains how relationships formed through the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) proved critical to the success of these efforts, and our plans for continued collaborative efforts to bring broadband connectivity to the rest of the country, where it is critically needed.

Now if you still question the impact of ICTs or Inveneo in Haiti, then watch this video and listen to Gary Shaye, Country Director for Save the Children, explain how broadband technology does save lives:


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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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