Field Guide to Information Technology Deployment in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations: Support & Training

Client: Global Relief Technologies
Faculty: Carol Bellamy
Team: Adrienne Dominguez, Arya Iranpour, Caitlin Ostomel, Samuel Sarkissian
Year: 2010
On January 12, 2010, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale hit the small island nation of Haiti, destroying nearly all of the nation's infrastructure and resulting in one of the largest humanitarian emergencies in the past 20 years. Almost immediately, international relief organizations began deploying staff and volunteers to provide assistance, but they soon found themselves hampered by difficulties in getting information from the field to headquarters (HQ) world-wide. Global Relief Technologies (GRT) is at the forefront of improving field-to-HQ communication and information transfer using information technology (IT). The Capstone team was commissioned to write a "Best Practices" guide for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) organizations, to help them develop the most efficient ways of getting necessary data from the field to their home offices. Utilizing interviews with operations and IT staff at various types of HADR organizations (multinational, military, non-governmental), the Capstone team focused on the best ways to support IT in extreme environments and how organizations can train their staff efficiently and effectively in new applications before and during response operations.