For the last three months I was in the Philippines, where I worked for the Shelter Cluster on the response to Typhoon Haiyan. Things have been incredibly busy, which is why I haven’t had time to update this blog, but next Friday I will leave and will once again have more time to write about how new technologies can better support disaster response.
Working in the Philippines has been a really great and interesting experience. For one thing, it is simply humbling to see with how much energy people are rebuilding their lives. In the three months I have been there, I have definitely not witnessed a handout-mentality. People here want to get back on their feet by their own efforts and are only hoping for a little bit of assistance that will help them get there.
It has also been the first middle-income country where I have worked in a disaster, with a functioning government that has a lot of experience in dealing with disasters, and where Facebook and Twitter are very common and where everybody is texting.
Last but not least, it’s simply a pleasure to work with and for people who are happy that you are there.
As for what is coming next: in March I’ll facilitate a TechChange course on Tech Tools and Skills for Emergency Management. There are still places, so sign up if technology an disaster response interest you!