[This post is from Grady Mitchell for PeaceGeeks. Welcome, Grady!]
PeaceGeeks is a nonprofit organization based in Vancouver that builds digital tools to empower communities in the pursuit of peace.
Our newest project, Arrival Advisor, is dedicated to making it easier for newcomers to Canada to find and access the services they need to build a new life here in British Columbia.
Arrival Advisor was funded by the Google.org Impact Challenge Canada program. This project was developed in partnership with Metro Vancouver Local Immigration Partnerships, along with British Columbia’s 2-1-1 program. Affinity Bridge supported our technical development.
And Open Referral played a key role in Arrival Advisor’s design and implementation.
Immediately after a disaster, information managers collect information about who is doing what, and where, and then turn this information into “3W Reports.”
While some groups have custom software for collecting this information, the most widespread tool for this work is the spreadsheet. (Indeed, the spreadsheet is still the “lingua franca” of the humanitarian aid community, which is why UNOCHA’s Humanitarian Data Exchange project is designed around the exchange of ‘flat’ spreadsheet-based data.)
During the ongoing migrant crisis facing Europe, a number of volunteer technical communities (VTCs) in the Digital Humanitarian Network have engaged in the work of managing data about these humanitarian services. They quickly realized they needed to come up with a shared template for this information so they could more easily merge data with their peers, and also so that during the next disaster, they didn’t have to reinvent the wheel all over again. …