Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sahana Awarded for Haiti Earthquake Work

Mark Prutsalis, President of the Sahana Software Foundation, has just accepted the Best Practices award in Orlando, Florida, for the work the foundation has done in response to the Haiti earthquake. The ward was presented at the Disaster Recovery Journal Spring World Conference. As a member of the Foundation, I did not contribute much to the Haiti effort, but it is good to have the work of my colleagues recognised.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Programmer needed for Haiti Relief

The Sahana Software Foundation needs a developer for disaster relief software used in Haiti. They can be anywhere in the world, as long as they are contactable during Haiti business hours:
The Sahana Software Foundation is looking for a developer to support its Food Request Portal deployed to support the Food Cluster and the World Food Programme in Haiti.  This is a full-time position and requires
full-time availability (8 hours per day of work Monday through Friday,
and ability to be reachable during working hours in Haiti which is 1300
UTC until 0100 UTC). The main responsibility will be to support the
evolving requirements of the Food Cluster and the production, test and
development environments of this deployment. But one of the goals of
this effort will also be to move the FRP branch back into the trunk such
that the enhancements and features will become regular components of the
core SahanaPy project.

Skills/Experience required: python/web2py with good UI/UX skills, an
understanding of MySql, OpenLayers, KML approaches, experience with release management, coordinating QA & UAT testing, systems administration. Knowledge of SahanaPy a plus.

Candidates must be available to start no later than 15 March (the earlier is better). The full-time effort will run through the end of May 2010, followed by an additional part-time support effort of 40 hours (5 days) for the month of June 2010.

Interested persons should send a current CV to mark at sahanafoundation dot org as soon as possible.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Help with Haiti Hospital Data

The Sahana Foundation needs help with providing disaster relief coordination via its Haiti 2010 Sahana Disaster Response Portal. Volunteers are needed to update the records for all of the hospitals and health facilities in Haiti.

Update HMS Records

Several schema changes have been made to accommodate additional data elements critical to tracking hospital data in Haiti. Of most importance is to record a unique identifier - or UUID - for all hospitals and health facilities in Haiti. This will better allow for interoperability between different open source systems tracking hospital data for Haiti. It has been agreed that PAHO - the Pan American Health Organization (part of the World Health Organization) as the lead of the health cluster, will provide these UUIDs for all health facilities in Haiti.

A current list of UUIDs can be found here: | HHS Public Site of Haiti Health Facilities


  • Review the PAHO list and identify the matching health facility record for all hospital records within Sahana
  • Edit the hospital record within Sahana to add the UUID provided by PAHO for this facility
  • Issue: there are duplicates within the PAHO data... until these are resolved, pick the best match and record all duplicate IDs in the comments field of the Sahana record. This will allow us to reconcile these records later as the PAHO list is cleansed of duplicated.
  • Cross-check all geo-location data against hi-res imagery as required if there is any question as to the coordinates of the hospital. Note: we have a HIGH degree of confidence in our current data set of coordinates.
  • Cross-check Sahana's list of hospitals against OSM (probably more complete and current) and update Sahana.
  • Cross-check Sahana's list of hospitals against Clinton Foundation list (they are tracking about 2 dozen) and update Sahana.
  • Additional task: identify health facilities that are not currently included in Sahana's list of hospitals that should be treated as hospitals
    • There are many health facilities that are not hospitals per se, but given the exegencies of the earthquake response, are effectively operating as hospitals (e.g. they have inpatient beds).
    • These need to be identified and added to Sahana's registry.
    • Cross-check against OSM and Clinton Foundation.
From: Update HMS Records Haiti, Haiti 2010 Sahana Disaster Response Portal, 2010

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Australian High Speed Ship to Transport Haiti Aid

High speed catamaran Alakai sister ship to Huakai in HawaiiThe US government is deploying the Australian designed 113 metre high speed catamaran “Huakai” to assist with Haiti relief. Completed last year as a vehicle ferry for Hawaii, the ship can carry up to 800 tonnes at 40 knots. It has a shallow draft of 3.7 m, water jets and 20 metre ramp, allowing it to dock and unload without assictance. It is likely the ship will shuttle between Haiti, Guantanamo Bay and Miami.

A similar operation was carried out by the high speed catamaran HMAS Jervis Bay, operating between Darwin and East Timor from 1999 to 2001. Like Huakai, this was a surplus commercial ferry taken up for government use. The US military were impressed with this and leased a number of Australian designed catermarans.

The US Department of Defence has contracted Austal (who built the Huakai), to build up to ten similar "Joint High Speed Vessels" (JHSV) for military transport. The first named “Fortitude” (JHSV 1) is being constructed in the USA. Tjhis will be followed by Vigilant (JHSV 2) and Spearhead (JHSV 3).

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti 2010 Sahana Disaster Response Portal

The Sahana Software Foundation have created the  Haiti 2010 Sahana Disaster Response Portal, with feeds from many relief agencies and software to coordinate the relief effort for the earthquake.

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