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April 7, 2015 | 0 comments

Digital Humanitarians sprung to action just hours after the Category 5 Cyclone collided with Vanuatu’s many islands. This first deployment focused on rapidly assessing the damage by analyzing multimedia content posted on social media and in the mainstream news. This request came directly from the United Nations (OCHA), which activated the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) to carry out the rapid damage assessment. So the Standby Task Force (SBTF), a founding member of the DHN, used QCRI′s MicroMappers platform to produce a digital, interactive Crisis Map of some 1,000+ geo-tagged pictures of disaster damage (screenshot below): http://irevolution.net/2015/04/07/digital-jedis-cyclone-pam/

April 7, 2015 | 0 comments

A year after the recent Ebola outbreak was first reported, the federal government is assessing how experimental technology -- wrist-worn devices that automatically monitor patients’ vital signs, for instance -- could help contain it or a future health crisis. As the outbreak continues in parts of Western Africa, the U.S. Agency for International Development and other agencies are still investing and prototyping new devices, often looking to the private sector and the general public for ideas. Federally-funded research projects include wearable monitors and new personal protection equipment suits, among others. At a April 2, 2015 event hosted by USAID and the White House Office of Science and Technology and Policy, agency representatives discussed how collaboration and crowdsourcing could advance health-related technology: http://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2015/04/limits-technology-fighting-...

April 1, 2015 | 0 comments

 

 

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March 23, 2015 | 0 comments

As the cleanup begins following the worst cyclone to hit Vanuatu in recent history, fears are growing among the population here about how the Pacific nation—lying 2,236 miles east of Australia—will recover and entice foreign visitors so crucial to the local economy to return. An exotic destination cherished by divers and adventure seekers, the archipelago faces a long path of rebuilding from two days of devastation wrought by Cyclone Pam’s 250-kilometer-per-hour (155mph) winds. The death toll from the storm has been reduced to 17 from earlier reports of 24, far smaller than similar-sized Pacific storms, such as last year’s Typhoon Haiyan, which killed 6,000 people in the Philippines. But the infrastructure damage has been overwhelming: http://www.wsj.com/articles/devastated-vanuatu-faces-uncertain-future-af...

March 23, 2015 | 0 comments

For years, the UAE has been among countries with the highest per capita water consumption in the world, according to the UN Environment Programme. The UAE placed third in this global ranking in 2013. This means that an average UAE resident consumes about 550 litres of water a day. This is more than three times the world average per capita consumption. As the UAE marks World Water Day on Sunday, Gulf News looks into the real risk of water scarcity over the next 15 years and beyond: http://www.albawaba.com/editorchoice/water-scarcity-911-uaes-water-resou...