Strengthening urban resilience with GNDR

MapAction’s strategy to 2023 aims to use geospatial technology and insight to bridge the gap between humanitarian need and available resources. We are doing this by, among other things, helping local, regional and global civil society networks to conduct their own geospatial analysis, and bolstering the resilience of urban communities to different types of crises.

aerial view of city landscape with many high-rise buildings

As part of our programme of work funded by USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), we are currently working with the Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR) towards these two strategic objectives. GNDR is also midway through a BHA-funded programme entitled ‘Making Displacement Safer’ and we have aligned our targets in order to collaborate around our shared goals.

In the first phase of our collaboration with GNDR, MapAction intern Kelly Rutkowski targeted practical application of her research project within her Master of Science in Disasters, Adaptation, and Development to create a system framework for examining urban preparedness. She also mapped two case studies for GNDR in Khulna, Bangladesh and Garut, Indonesia.

We are now in the second phase of our collaboration, in which we are providing advice and support to GNDR’s civil society partners for geographical analysis and mapping. The learning gained both supports GNDR’s programmes in urban areas and increases MapAction’s knowledge of how we further our own urban and civil society programmes.

Supporting United Nations training exercise in Indonesia

This week MapAction is in Sentul, Indonesia, to support an induction training course for the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC).

As well as supporting an earthquake simulation exercise with mapping, three MapAction members are delivering training on GPS, information management and the use of maps for humanitarian response.

MapAction regularly provides training and support to UNDAC’s induction courses that take place around the world for new team members

Our participation in this training was made possible thanks to the support of the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance. OFDA provides us with grant funding to help us improve the use of maps, geographical information systems (GIS) and spatial analysis across the humanitarian sector to improve the impact of humanitarian aid.

Indonesia earthquake and tsunami

On Friday 28 September 2018, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck off Donggala Region, in the province of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, causing extensive damage and triggering devastating mudflows and a tsunami. Over 1,200 people have been killed and more than 61,000 have been forced from their homes. Queues at petrol stations around Palu reportedly stretch for kilometres. Thousands of people have tried to flee via the city’s airport but only one flight a day is due to leave.

A three-person team of MapAction mapping volunteers in Indonesia at the the request of our partner the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Centre (AHA Centre) to help them coordinate the response. They will be ensuring that rescue and recovery workers have situation maps which are continually updated and reliable. We have also been providing remote support since the earthquake struck creating maps detailing essential information such as health and transport infrastructure. We’ve launched an appeal to fund this mission.