Knowledge Sharing of Voice-enabled ICT for Disaster Management (VoiceICT4D)

Organisation: LIRNEasia

Partners: Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, TVE - Asia Pacific (TVEAP)

Location: Sri Lanka

Type of grant: Core – invention

Status: Completed

Telephone calls are the main mode for communicating emergency information between the Sarvodaya community-based emergency coordinators and their central incident management hub in Sri Lanka. The Freedom Fone Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Sahana disaster management system integration study revealed the technology marriage as an easy to use and useful combination for exchanging emergency response information and decision support analysis. VoiceICT4D will share the acquired knowledge and stimulate discussions with various stakeholders to influence policy towards enabling affordable interactive voice solutions, such as the Freedom Fone and Sahana marriage, in disaster management.

Challenge(s) addressed:

  • Effective rescue and relief coordination in an accountable and transparent way to foster rapid crisis response
  • Access to near real-time emergency information for swift and accurate allocation of emergency response resources
  • Mobilizing community volunteers with localized and easy to use ICTs that do not require computer literacy and English language skill
  • Standardizing, localizing, and internationalizing emergency data to enable Inter and intra organization system, semantic, and business interoperability

Innovation Factor:

Advocate the adaptation of affordable, easy to use, and usable voice-enabled last-mile technologies for community-based emergency alerting and reporting.

Added Value:

  1. General purpose technologies that are used in every day life as well as in disaster communication will solve the sustainability part of the puzzle.
  2. The VoiceICT4D influenced policy for investments in strengthening Freedom Fone and Sahana, free and open source software, integration will be free to benefit by any humanitarian organization or developing country.

Innovation Phases Description:

  • Invention: VoiceICT4D builds on the success of the “feasibility study to enable Freedom Fone with voice-based emergency data exchange. Findings from the pilot study implies that Freedom Fone is a utility.
  • Dissemination: share the knowledge from the feasibility study with disaster management practitioners and researchers.

Key Deliverables / Impact:

Research video – is a 5 to 8 minute short video highlighting the key messages from the Freedom Fone and Sahana integration action research.

Digital Story – the 12 to 15 minute production will complement the research video with all relevant research information, including visuals of the software, procedures, and analytical results.

Stakeholder forum – facilitate an environment for selected public and private sector experts, involved in National/Regional disaster management, to disaster management knowledge.

Other actions – sharing knowledge with various levels of Government in Sri Lanka and regional disaster management agencies. Periodic news briefs or summaries will be published in newsletters, websites, blogs, social media, and other public venues.

Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

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