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Date: 2024-05-21 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00000172

Development Issues
Crisis Mapping is too little too late.

The dysfunction of major international institutions and governments needs to be addressed as well.

Volunteer initiatives to do mapping in crisis situations using modern technology is a positive development ... but the impact is not much compared to the huge dysfunction of the big international organizations and government agencies. Until these are addressed, the world will lurch from crisis to crisis.

[CrisisMappers] Somalia map?
Leesa Astredo to crisismappers, 1staid4, Christina, admin, info4disasters
Jul 21 (11 days ago)

Hi y'all! I am wondering if there is any mapping project in existance or being planned for the situation in Somalia.. It is getting worse by the minute and I am wondering if there is anything we can do to help.

Thanks in advance for your time..

Leesa :)
Leesa Astredo COMING SOON!
SBTF MM team Coordinator
twitter@viequesbound @info4disasters
Skype name: viequesbound

King, Dennis J
Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 2:43 PM
Cc: ReliefWeb Feedback

There are plenty of mapping projects already in existence and providing situational visual analysis products on Somalia and the drought in East Africa. id=form-JWp8hL3JXt_VRocQwnhMry9CSpoommC2ulJcy0kXVkM&form_id=views_exposed_form listing%252Ctaxonomy_index_tid_content_format-12

Before adding to the overload and duplicating what is already being done, we all need to be aware of what is already out there and identify/try to fill the gaps in information and analysis.

Dennis King
US Department of State

Christina Kraich-Rogers
Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 2:58 PM


if there are already mapping projects in place than we should all connect and work together. I am afraid the east african situation will get real bad.

How can we connect to what is already in place?



Craig von Hagen (Yahoo)
Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 3:02 PM
Cc: ReliefWeb Feedback

To add to what Dennis sent along:

there are many more…



Craig von Hagen (Yahoo)
Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 3:05 PM

You can send an email to Lisa Petersen at OCHA

Lisa Peterson

She is currently coordinating the Somalia Interagency Mapping and Coordination group.



Andrej Verity
Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Lisa is our IMO covering Somalia and will have contacts with the various mapping efforts [on the ground - or in Nairobi]. Note that OCHA also has a regional office, a Kenya office and an Ethiopia office covering the situation.

One week ago, OCHA setup a Skype group to help with any 'Data Scramble' - in which the OCHA IMOs from the various countries are included. We also included representatives from iMMAP, Google, OSM, MapAction, World Bank, Crisis Commons and NetHope. There has not been a lot of activity on the group --- as much of the baseline data had already been in place [as we know emergencies in these areas have been around for quite some time]. Perhaps the Skype group could become something that we re-purpose for 'mapping' support if our IMOs.

Note that we are working to get the Common Operational Datasets online for Somalia for everyone/anyone to work from.

Also note that I, in conjunction with Patrick Meier, exchanged messages with the IMOs in the region asking about any remote support they may require. On 18-July, Lisa noted that existing mechanisms were sufficient at the time. I know that the situation has become more grave over the past few days [at least to the outside world], but have not had a chance to reconnect with Lisa about any support needed.

UN-OCHA Geneva

Imad Ahmed
Sat, Jul 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Is anyone on the list working for or know of a lean organisation distributing food and aid in East Africa?

Thanks, Imad

Peter Burgess
Sat, Jul 30, 2011 at 7:33 PM
To: Imad Ahmed

Dear Colleagues

I was in the middle of the Horn of Africa famine of the 1980s ... and other hunger emergencies in the Sahel.

I do not want to get in the way of people trying to mitigate the impact of the present disaster, but do want to draw attention to the incomprehensible incompetence of the responsible governing authorities and international emergency agencies and NGOs. Knowledge of this impending drought/famine has been in play for more than two years, and yet these huge bureaucracies seem to be totally unaware of the developing crisis.

The people who are interested in information for emergencies need to figure out how to use information in an early warning mode to avoid disaster. If this can be done, the contribution to reducing the damage done by emergencies would be wonderful.

Peter Burgess

Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 1:19 PM
To: CrisisMappers

It should be noted that the entire FEWS-net program,,
a veeery-long overdue synthesis of Earth observation, on-the-ground field intelligence, and foreign aid, was born from that wrenching experience. A decent account is:
(long live the legacies of Jack Estes, RJ Thompson, and the current leadership of Gary Eilerts, etc)

It should also be noted that this will be a good test of the effectiveness of the new FAO/WFP top-level 'food security cluster', ,

and its relationship to NGOs, etc. A glimpse of that evolving dynamic is posted to: cluster_consultation_washington_dc_18_june1_2.pdf


Peter Burgess
Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 9:32 PM
To: Chris
Cc: CrisisMappers
Bcc: Chris Chiaia , Philippa Burgess

Dear Chris

Thanks for your comment on my remarks about the FEWS initiative. You have no idea how much I disagree with you. People who know technology know that it is a million or a billion times more powerful than when I started my career ... but socio-economic performance in society around the planet is rather modestly improved.

I get pretty damn mad when the World Bank and others think there has been a good year when economic performance has improved by 2% ... when good progress would have been an order of magnitude bigger. We are using technology in ways that do not make much of a difference to the quality of life of ordinary people. We know more ... but what this knowledge shows is how little has been accomplished where it matters.

I argued in the late 1980s that FEWS needed to have strong links with structures that could physically take action. Many people in the field agreed with me, but nobody in Paris, London or Washington ... and nobody in the head office consulting and academic community either. The structures that exist are governmental and multilateral agencies, and some civil society organizations ... and we know these do not work very well but we are not doing much if anything about their performance!

Some people do amazing work ... but as an institutional whole, performance is not very good!

Peter Burgess

Chris Nicholas
Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 10:11 PM
To: Peter Burgess

agreed, completely.

something you might find interesting is:

section 4. Also, the attached, though not awarded, was an interesting thought experiment with CGIAR, RCMRD, etc. Also, a fair bit of dialog with WFP for GIS resources, etc.

With the FEWS-net 5-year renewal (supposedly) coming up shortly, and the whole concept of crisismapping,, etc fresh in folks' minds; we'll see what impact it has in what transpires...


Various members of CrisisMappers
July 2011
The text being discussed is available at Not applicable
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