|Author||de Lanerolle, Trishan ♦ Curzon, Rebecca ♦ Morelli, Ralph ♦ Mao, Xin Sheng ♦ de Silva, Chamindra|
|Source||ACM Digital Library|
|Publisher||Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)|
|Abstract||A firsthand account of an international team effort to install the Sahana disaster-management system in Chengdu, Sichuan after an earthquake. On Monday May 12, 2008, an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale struck in Sichuan Province in southwestern China, destroying homes, schools, hospitals, roads, and vital power and communication infrastructure. More than 45 million people were affected---tens of thousands were killed, hundreds of thousands injured, millions of people were evacuated and left homeless, and millions of buildings were destroyed. When the earthquake hit, several members of what became an international, volunteer, disaster-management IT team were attending a workshop in Washington, D.C. The workshop was organized by the IBM Office of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs department to train IBM personnel and others in the use and deployment of Sahana, a free and open source software (FOSS) disaster management system. Sahana, which means relief in Sinhalese, is a Web-based collaboration tool that helps manage information resources during a disaster recovery effort. It supports a wide range of relief efforts from finding missing persons, to managing volunteers, tracking resources, and coordinating refugee camps. Sahana enables government groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the victims themselves to work together during a disaster recovery effort. Over the next several weeks, the team members, distributed among several cities (Beijing and Chengdu in China, Hartford and New York in the U.S., and Colombo in Sri Lanka), worked together over global communication channels to configure and deploy Sahana in Chengdu, in order to support the disaster recovery effort there. The organizations involved in the collaboration included: • The Lanka Software Foundation (LSF), developers of the Sahana system. Three LSF members, led by the second author, were conducting the training workshop. • Various departments of IBM, including Business Continuity and Resiliency Services. Ten employees led by the fourth author, who organized the workshop, were receiving instruction in how to deploy and use Sahana. • The Humanitarian FOSS Project (H-FOSS), an NSF-funded effort aimed at revitalizing undergraduate computing education. Four students and their mentors, the first and third authors, were attending the workshop as developers and undergraduate members of the Sahana community. • IBM China. Initially, local teams in Beijing and Chengdu consisting of corporate citizenship, government relations, and technical professionals led in demonstrating Sahana to local officials, securing buy-in, and establishing channels to proceed. Then a large team of developers, language specialists, and others, including a team based in Chengdu, Sichuan, eventually took charge of the deployment effort in Chengdu. The fifth author was a member of the China development team. Almost immediately after the earthquake, discussions were held between IBM, IBM China, China's Ministry of Civil Affairs, and the Chengdu city government in Sichuan province. Once the Chengdu government expressed real interest in deploying Sahana, a team was formed to begin the process of localizing Sahana---that is, translating its user interface into simplified Chinese. The team was led by executives and software developers from IBM-China and assisted by Sahana team members in Colombo and student H-FOSS volunteers in Hartford. The team's organizational structure followed the normal procedure involved in previous Sahana deployments---a local group in close proximity to the incident supported by volunteers from the global Sahana community. In this case IBM-China, including some who were directly affected by the disaster, took the lead in deploying Sahana over an intensive three-week period. The decision by the Chengdu government to proceed with the deployment was taken on May 21, 2008 and a revised and localized version of Sahana was deployed in Chengdu on May 25. On June 12 we learned that 42 families had been reunited with the help of Sahana. This article provides an inside look at the deployment effort. It describes how a diverse, multidisciplinary team---professional programmers, software engineers, executives from a large global enterprise, students, faculty, and humanitarian IT specialists from a global FOSS community---worked together to assist the earthquake recovery effort. The success of the collaboration illustrates the power of virtual communities working across international boundaries using a variety of electronic communication software. It also demonstrates that the Internet has truly made us all neighbors and is constantly forcing us to redefine our concept of community.|
|Description||Affiliation: IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs based in Massachusetts (Curzon, Rebecca) || IBM Software Group based in Beijing, China (Mao, Xin Sheng) || Virtusa, Inc. (de Silva, Chamindra) || Trinity College in Hartford, CT (Morelli, Ralph; de Lanerolle, Trishan)|
|Age Range||18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year|
|Education Level||UG and PG|
|Learning Resource Type||Article|
|Publisher Place||New York|
|Journal||Communications of the ACM (CACM)|
Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) under its National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) has initiated the National Digital Library of India (NDLI) project to develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility. Filtered and federated searching is employed to facilitate focused searching so that learners can find out the right resource with least effort and in minimum time. NDLI is designed to hold content of any language and provides interface support for leading vernacular languages, (currently Hindi, Bengali and several other languages are available). It is designed to provide support for all academic levels including researchers and life-long learners, all disciplines, all popular forms of access devices and differently-abled learners. It is being developed to help students to prepare for entrance and competitive examinations, to enable people to learn and prepare from best practices from all over the world and to facilitate researchers to perform inter-linked exploration from multiple sources. It is being developed at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.
NDLI is a conglomeration of freely available or institutionally contributed or donated or publisher managed contents. Almost all these contents are hosted and accessed from respective sources. The responsibility for authenticity, relevance, completeness, accuracy, reliability and suitability of these contents rests with the respective organization and NDLI has no responsibility or liability for these. Every effort is made to keep the NDLI portal up and running smoothly unless there are some unavoidable technical issues.
Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), through its National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT), has sponsored and funded the National Digital Library of India (NDLI) project.
For any issue or feedback, please write to email@example.com