Mobile Pictographs for Disaster Communication

Organisation: Sahana Software Foundation

Partners: Microsoft Research India; ExCiteS, University College London

Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka and Cebu City, Philippines

Type of grant: Core – recognition

Status: Ongoing

  • Participants in the workshop

  • "Severe flooding" (left) vs. "moderate flooding" (right)

  • Representations interpreted as "toxic spillage" (left) and "pirate attack" (right)

  • Context adds to the effectiveness of pictographs - house and car threatened by floods

  • Interviews with Deaf Communities in Cebu City, Philippines

  • Field Study in Kunukanda

  • Field Study in Ratnapura

  • Meterological text bulletin and possible pictographs

  • Eye icon and alternative icon for observe action

  • Conducting the survey with DDAT-DRR team

  • Floating house and the flood pictograph

  • Devastating floods in Sri Lanka

  • Participants taking the comprehension test


Sahana Software Foundation investigates the use of pictographs in disaster information systems to understand the challenges for implementing a pictograph-based disaster communication system on mobile phones with the capability to save life and livelihoods in disaster situations.

WHAT HUMANITARIAN NEED IS BEING ADDRESSED?

30% of the Asian and Sub-Saharan populations are low-literate. Present day ICT-driven disaster and climate change communication does not provide the means for sharing risk information with and receiving risk information from low-literate or linguistically challenged populations. There is no established pictograph dictionary and semantics. Our challenge is to validate the concept of pictographic disaster communication and to stimulate feedback on design requirements.

WHAT IS THE INNOVATIVE SOLUTION AND HOW WILL IT IMPROVE EXISTING HUMANITARIAN PRACTICE?

Pictograph enabled communication will empower communities of practice in disaster and climate change to include all linguistically challenged populations. It will bring about change in ways which risk is perceived and communicated by the low-literate and linguistically challenged. Moreover, pictograph enabled communication empowers interconnection of these marginalised populations for knowledge mobilisation in the given context.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

This project will develop a first version of a dictionary and semantics for pictographic disaster communication. This will allow for initial testing and confirming with practitioners on their requirements for national implementations.


Elrha is hosted by Save the Children, a registered charity in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SC039570).

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