In September 2018 we began a new three-year programme of work funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of humanitarian emergency response through better use of maps and other geospatial services. This followed on from a previous fruitful collaboration of several years’ standing.
Humanitarian disaster response requires many important decisions to be made rapidly. The consequences of slow or of sub-optimal decisions, especially in the first days and weeks after a disaster, can be very serious. Presenting key information in the form of maps overlaid with situational information and/or graphical visualisation of data is often the best way to support responders to make good decisions. The funding we receive from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs is enabling us to develop new models of effective mapping and geospatial analysis for a changing humanitarian sector, taking advantage of emerging technologies, as well as meeting current needs. We are also training humanitarian decision makers to have a better understanding of the ways in which maps and GIS tools can help them.