MapAction supports the Start Network to improve early action in humanitarian response

As part of a growing trend, humanitarians are now anticipating crises and acting prior to their onset, enabling faster, more dignified and more cost-effective humanitarian responses. Using data and analytical approaches we can now predict humanitarian shocks brought about by extreme weather, conflict and a range of other sources with increasing confidence. 

Geospatial data, data visualisation and information management are critical to this type of anticipatory action. As a trusted leader in these fields MapAction has been selected to partner with Start Network to assist with their programmes of anticipatory and early action. 

MapAction will use its expertise to provide hazard data analysis, real time hazard data, base maps and vulnerability analysis to the network. Together, we aim to provide locally led anticipatory action to enhance the coordination of disaster risk nationally.

The three year programme will see MapAction providing Start Network with data for eight vulnerable countries where it is implementing anticipatory finance projects. This will involve MapAction providing local information and visualisations for critical early decision making as well as implementation support. 

Liz Hughes, MapAction’s CEO, said, “We are very excited to be working on this project as we believe it can make a real and lasting difference for disaster affected populations. MapAction will provide Start Network and its members with a combination of historical and real time hazard data analysis, vulnerability analysis, maps and more. By converting all of that into usable situational information and visualisations for critical early decision making, we can enable better informed humanitarian decisions, and ultimately save lives and reduce suffering.”

This work is being made possible by a consortium of partners including members of the Insurance Development Forum and Swiss Re Foundation, who aim to improve global risk understanding in order to help create equal opportunities and sustainable growth.

Helping to build new Caribbean Risk Information System (CRIS)

Launched today, the Caribbean Risk Information System (CRIS) is a “one stop shop” for gathering and sharing information and data on disaster risk management and climate change adaptation across the Caribbean region.

The CRIS platform has been created by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) in collaboration with the World Bank and other partners including MapAction, with financial support from the European Union (EU). 

CRIS aims to support informed decision making by providing access to information on all types of hazards, including climate-induced hazards, as well as guidance on how to reduce risk, build disaster-resilient states and promote sustainable development. It consists of a Virtual Library, databases and the GeoCRIS – a geospatial component which provides access to geospatial data needed for risk and hazard mapping, disaster preparedness and response operations. Data from the Caribbean Handbook on Risk Information Management (CHaRIM) GeoNode has been integrated into the GeoCRIS to facilitate evidence-based decision making and development planning processes.

Screenshot of GeoCRIS showing map of Western Haiti with seaports, airports, points of interest, health facilities, river network and waterbodies map layers selected
Screenshot of the GeoCRIS showing a map of part of Western Haiti with several map layers selected

MapAction provided advice on strategic, technical and personnel issues related to creating the GeoCRIS, based on its years of experience of developing similar systems. We particularly assisted in defining
needs for data and tools to support the Rapid Needs Assistance Team (RNAT) and other rapid-response mechanisms within CDEMA as we have partnered alongside CDEMA following several devastating hurricanes in the past five years. We will also be helping CDEMA to train disaster management teams across the Caribbean region in using GeoCRIS once travel restrictions are lifted.

We’re grateful to the USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance for funding our participation in this project.

You can view the CRIS launch presentation on the CDEMA Facebook page.