Visualizing ICT Needs

Plotting tech needs of NGOs in areas of response


Geospatial technology is being used not only to map the infrastructure of the nations affected by Ebola and the epidemiology of the disease, but also to plot the technological needs of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in the area.

Carol Kraemer, a volunteer with the URISA GISCorps, leads the corps’ work with NetHope, whose mission is to enable humanitarian organizations to better serve the developing world through smarter use of technology.

According to Kraemer, NetHope, which doesn’t have any GIS experts on staff, approached GISCorps for help mapping the results of surveys that gather data on the information and communications technology (ICT) needs of NGOs deployed to West Africa for Ebola relief.

The NGOs share in the surveys their location information and ICT needs, such as mobile data coverage, which GISCorps maps alongside the most recent Ebola case data to pinpoint where the greatest needs are.

“We’ve experimented with how the geospatial data can be presented in different ways to see how the data can work together and make the data tell a better story for NetHope to pass on to donors,” Kraemer said.

Featured image: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Angel Mitre (right) explains to personnel from the Liberian Institute of Statistics–Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) how exchanges of geospatial data create a more robust, useful product for organizations supporting Ebola relief. Mitre’s team is assisting, mentoring, and training LISGIS. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Hoskins

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