[Micronet] Internet services for refugees and disaster survivors - Interested in participating

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[Micronet] Internet services for refugees and disaster survivors - Interested in participating

Dianne Walker
Dear Micronet,

I'm reaching out to you because some of you may be interested in providing internet services -- setting up wi-fi, VOIP, VPN, and general IT services as well as internet cafés for refugees and survivors of disasters, such as the earthquakes in Ecuador and Nepal.  The organization doing this work, Disaster Tech Lab, http://disastertechlab.org/, is based in Ireland, but serves people all over the world.  Their website describes their work in detail.  This is not full-time work and is entirely voluntary.  There is some training available, but the expectation is that you'll be ready to go.

I learned about Disaster Tech Lab's work through my involvement with some tech startups in Athens (Campfire Innovation, http://www.campfireinnovation.org/) and Berlin (Startupboat, http://www.startupboat.eu/, and StartupAID, http://www.startupaid.io/) that are developing apps for refugees and the aid organizations that support them.  The overarching global organization for people developing tech tools for refugees, based in the UK, is Techfugees, http://techfugees.com/.  Techfugees co-sponsors hackathons around the world and then works with local incubators to further develop the best ideas that come out of the hackathons.  Two months ago a Bay Area hackathon, supported by Mozilla, was held.  For more information about the local hackathons, go to Hacktivision, http://hacktivision.co/.  

Not surprisingly, Facebook is the main vehicle for on-line communication for aid organizations serving refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  These FB groups provide information, manage volunteers, and, of course, solicit donations.  Most refugees have cell phones, 85% are Androids.  For refugees, WhatsApp is also a main way of communication.

All this to say, there is lots of room for techies to contribute, to get our social entrepreneurship on, and to have the experience of a lifetime.  And, of course, volunteers are needed in many other areas as well.

For more information, go to the website of our campus Refugee Group (still working on an official name), http://bev.berkeley.edu/refugees, or email me directly.  You may want to take a look at the Technology page.  If you want to be subscribed to the listserv, please let me know!

Dianne Walker
(retired from the CIO's office so now I have time to do this work!)



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[Micronet] Re: Internet services for refugees and disaster survivors - Interested in participating

Dustin Li
Hi Micronet,

I'm really happy to see rising interest in using technology to solve problems in humanitarian disasters - thanks for bringing this up, Dianne! My background is in software engineering, and I'm involved in communications infrastructure development and deployments in acute disasters. Basically, I've helped to set up internet, voice, and VHF radio connectivity in the wake of disasters. However, as someone who has deployed previously with Disaster Tech Lab, I don't recommend either volunteering with them or donating to them (please contact me off-list for specifics).

There are several teams that are legitimately operating in this telecoms-infrastructure-for-disasters space, although to my knowledge none of them have volunteer capacity:
- Télécoms Sans Frontière (http://www.tsfi.org/en)
- Emergency Telecoms Cluster (ETC) - the UN organization that coordinates response efforts in this area, including the efforts of the above organizations (https://www.etcluster.org/)

Getting academics (at all levels) involved in disaster response fieldwork is something that I've been thinking about for a while (I myself went from life doing research at a university to doing disaster response). My first exposure to the practical problems of disaster relief was eye-opening; there's nothing like seeing the problems that one encounters when there's no operating power grid or GSM. I think there's a lot of potential to generate research/development ideas while on the ground in a disaster situation, and then to bring these back to the lab and work on them. There's a lot of low-hanging fruit out there - many problems could be solved with a little tech love. The practical details of getting people "field-ready" (and acquiring the requisite funding) are left as an exercise for the reader...

Potentially of greater interest to Micronet, I know of some volunteer-driven organizations in distinct, but related spaces, generally relying on technical contributions (in addition to the organizations that Diane already listed):
- Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN), a consortium of organizations providing digital assistance (http://digitalhumanitarians.com/)
- There are many GIS efforts, many of which do mapping/coding using satellite imagery. The results can be spectacular - I had extraordinarily detailed offline vector maps (including building outlines) for even tiny villages in Sierra Leone, during the ebola crisis. Some of these efforts already fall under DHN, but in general I have limited knowledge of how they operate:
  - MapAction (http://www.mapaction.org/)
  - Humanitarian Open Streetmap Team (https://hotosm.org/)
  - MicroMappers (http://micromappers.org/)
- Humanitarian Toolbox (http://www.htbox.org/) works on open-source software and seeks contributions from coders/testers/designers. However, they seem to have only 1 project going on at the moment.

Hopefully all of that provides a little food for thought. If you haven't tried humanitarian work before, I recommend it! :) The need is real, and I think technology in humanitarian response has a lot of room for improvement.

Dustin

On Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 8:04:16 AM UTC+6:30, dwalker wrote:
Dear Micronet,

I'm reaching out to you because some of you may be interested in providing internet services -- setting up wi-fi, VOIP, VPN, and general IT services as well as internet cafés for refugees and survivors of disasters, such as the earthquakes in Ecuador and Nepal.  The organization doing this work, Disaster Tech Lab, <a href="http://disastertechlab.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" onmousedown="this.href=&#39;http://www.google.com/url?q\x3dhttp%3A%2F%2Fdisastertechlab.org%2F\x26sa\x3dD\x26sntz\x3d1\x26usg\x3dAFQjCNHCubl1cUuQv1wWmXIUPh_kgB3P6w&#39;;return true;" onclick="this.href=&#39;http://www.google.com/url?q\x3dhttp%3A%2F%2Fdisastertechlab.org%2F\x26sa\x3dD\x26sntz\x3d1\x26usg\x3dAFQjCNHCubl1cUuQv1wWmXIUPh_kgB3P6w&#39;;return true;">http://disastertechlab.org/, is based in Ireland, but serves people all over the world.  Their website describes their work in detail.  This is not full-time work and is entirely voluntary.  There is some training available, but the expectation is that you'll be ready to go.

I learned about Disaster Tech Lab's work through my involvement with some tech startups in Athens (Campfire Innovation, <a href="http://www.campfireinnovation.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" onmousedown="this.href=&#39;http://www.google.com/url?q\x3dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.campfireinnovation.org%2F\x26sa\x3dD\x26sntz\x3d1\x26usg\x3dAFQjCNFRY7SDszBf7wRn_vMdxEImsiIBIw&#39;;return true;" onclick="this.href=&#39;http://www.google.com/url?q\x3dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.campfireinnovation.org%2F\x26sa\x3dD\x26sntz\x3d1\x26usg\x3dAFQjCNFRY7SDszBf7wRn_vMdxEImsiIBIw&#39;;return true;">http://www.campfireinnovation.org/) and Berlin (Startupboat, <a href="http://www.startupboat.eu/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" onmousedown="this.href=&#39;http://www.google.com/url?q\x3dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.startupboat.eu%2F\x26sa\x3dD\x26sntz\x3d1\x26usg\x3dAFQjCNHv1KCP7EafeCsSyj7Ku7W_75tMpw&#39;;return true;" onclick="this.href=&#39;http://www.google.com/url?q\x3dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.startupboat.eu%2F\x26sa\x3dD\x26sntz\x3d1\x26usg\x3dAFQjCNHv1KCP7EafeCsSyj7Ku7W_75tMpw&#39;;return true;">http://www.startupboat.eu/, and StartupAID, <a href="http://www.startupaid.io/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" onmousedown="this.href=&#39;http://www.google.com/url?q\x3dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.startupaid.io%2F\x26sa\x3dD\x26sntz\x3d1\x26usg\x3dAFQjCNFmhx2wEGmj6D0nGPoZ1MJomkLkzQ&#39;;return true;" onclick="this.href=&#39;http://www.google.com/url?q\x3dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.startupaid.io%2F\x26sa\x3dD\x26sntz\x3d1\x26usg\x3dAFQjCNFmhx2wEGmj6D0nGPoZ1MJomkLkzQ&#39;;return true;">http://www.startupaid.io/) that are developing apps for refugees and the aid organizations that support them.  The overarching global organization for people developing tech tools for refugees, based in the UK, is Techfugees, <a href="http://techfugees.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" onmousedown="this.href=&#39;http://www.google.com/url?q\x3dhttp%3A%2F%2Ftechfugees.com%2F\x26sa\x3dD\x26sntz\x3d1\x26usg\x3dAFQjCNG6Q0lQm9gro27JV0TpXe7oVp39ig&#39;;return true;" onclick="this.href=&#39;http://www.google.com/url?q\x3dhttp%3A%2F%2Ftechfugees.com%2F\x26sa\x3dD\x26sntz\x3d1\x26usg\x3dAFQjCNG6Q0lQm9gro27JV0TpXe7oVp39ig&#39;;return true;">http://techfugees.com/.  Techfugees co-sponsors hackathons around the world and then works with local incubators to further develop the best ideas that come out of the hackathons.  Two months ago a Bay Area hackathon, supported by Mozilla, was held.  For more information about the local hackathons, go to Hacktivision, <a href="http://hacktivision.co/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" onmousedown="this.href=&#39;http://www.google.com/url?q\x3dhttp%3A%2F%2Fhacktivision.co%2F\x26sa\x3dD\x26sntz\x3d1\x26usg\x3dAFQjCNGsvIThgLbwv6lxiEXNzKZY3t_eQQ&#39;;return true;" onclick="this.href=&#39;http://www.google.com/url?q\x3dhttp%3A%2F%2Fhacktivision.co%2F\x26sa\x3dD\x26sntz\x3d1\x26usg\x3dAFQjCNGsvIThgLbwv6lxiEXNzKZY3t_eQQ&#39;;return true;">http://hacktivision.co/.  

Not surprisingly, Facebook is the main vehicle for on-line communication for aid organizations serving refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  These FB groups provide information, manage volunteers, and, of course, solicit donations.  Most refugees have cell phones, 85% are Androids.  For refugees, WhatsApp is also a main way of communication.

All this to say, there is lots of room for techies to contribute, to get our social entrepreneurship on, and to have the experience of a lifetime.  And, of course, volunteers are needed in many other areas as well.

For more information, go to the website of our campus Refugee Group (still working on an official name), <a href="http://bev.berkeley.edu/refugees" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" onmousedown="this.href=&#39;http://www.google.com/url?q\x3dhttp%3A%2F%2Fbev.berkeley.edu%2Frefugees\x26sa\x3dD\x26sntz\x3d1\x26usg\x3dAFQjCNGe0miyV0T83uZeaUHckmdXvYflEA&#39;;return true;" onclick="this.href=&#39;http://www.google.com/url?q\x3dhttp%3A%2F%2Fbev.berkeley.edu%2Frefugees\x26sa\x3dD\x26sntz\x3d1\x26usg\x3dAFQjCNGe0miyV0T83uZeaUHckmdXvYflEA&#39;;return true;">http://bev.berkeley.edu/refugees, or email me directly.  You may want to take a look at the Technology page.  If you want to be subscribed to the listserv, please let me know!

Dianne Walker
(retired from the CIO's office so now I have time to do this work!)



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Re: [Micronet] Re: Internet services for refugees and disaster survivors - Interested in participating

Grantland Hall
This is also a common concern of the GAIA (Global Access to the Internet for All) Research Group of the IRTF, which is always looking for additional involvement from the research community. It has a decent mix of academics and people involved in field-worker which tends to generate better feedback on practical implementation aspects of internet expansion and disaster response.

https://trac.tools.ietf.org/group/irtf/trac/wiki/gaia

On Mon, May 9, 2016 at 11:49 AM, Dustin <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Micronet,

I'm really happy to see rising interest in using technology to solve problems in humanitarian disasters - thanks for bringing this up, Dianne! My background is in software engineering, and I'm involved in communications infrastructure development and deployments in acute disasters. Basically, I've helped to set up internet, voice, and VHF radio connectivity in the wake of disasters. However, as someone who has deployed previously with Disaster Tech Lab, I don't recommend either volunteering with them or donating to them (please contact me off-list for specifics).

There are several teams that are legitimately operating in this telecoms-infrastructure-for-disasters space, although to my knowledge none of them have volunteer capacity:
- Télécoms Sans Frontière (http://www.tsfi.org/en)
- Emergency Telecoms Cluster (ETC) - the UN organization that coordinates response efforts in this area, including the efforts of the above organizations (https://www.etcluster.org/)

Getting academics (at all levels) involved in disaster response fieldwork is something that I've been thinking about for a while (I myself went from life doing research at a university to doing disaster response). My first exposure to the practical problems of disaster relief was eye-opening; there's nothing like seeing the problems that one encounters when there's no operating power grid or GSM. I think there's a lot of potential to generate research/development ideas while on the ground in a disaster situation, and then to bring these back to the lab and work on them. There's a lot of low-hanging fruit out there - many problems could be solved with a little tech love. The practical details of getting people "field-ready" (and acquiring the requisite funding) are left as an exercise for the reader...

Potentially of greater interest to Micronet, I know of some volunteer-driven organizations in distinct, but related spaces, generally relying on technical contributions (in addition to the organizations that Diane already listed):
- Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN), a consortium of organizations providing digital assistance (http://digitalhumanitarians.com/)
- There are many GIS efforts, many of which do mapping/coding using satellite imagery. The results can be spectacular - I had extraordinarily detailed offline vector maps (including building outlines) for even tiny villages in Sierra Leone, during the ebola crisis. Some of these efforts already fall under DHN, but in general I have limited knowledge of how they operate:
  - MapAction (http://www.mapaction.org/)
  - Humanitarian Open Streetmap Team (https://hotosm.org/)
  - MicroMappers (http://micromappers.org/)
- Humanitarian Toolbox (http://www.htbox.org/) works on open-source software and seeks contributions from coders/testers/designers. However, they seem to have only 1 project going on at the moment.

Hopefully all of that provides a little food for thought. If you haven't tried humanitarian work before, I recommend it! :) The need is real, and I think technology in humanitarian response has a lot of room for improvement.

Dustin

On Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 8:04:16 AM UTC+6:30, dwalker wrote:
Dear Micronet,

I'm reaching out to you because some of you may be interested in providing internet services -- setting up wi-fi, VOIP, VPN, and general IT services as well as internet cafés for refugees and survivors of disasters, such as the earthquakes in Ecuador and Nepal.  The organization doing this work, Disaster Tech Lab, http://disastertechlab.org/, is based in Ireland, but serves people all over the world.  Their website describes their work in detail.  This is not full-time work and is entirely voluntary.  There is some training available, but the expectation is that you'll be ready to go.

I learned about Disaster Tech Lab's work through my involvement with some tech startups in Athens (Campfire Innovation, http://www.campfireinnovation.org/) and Berlin (Startupboat, http://www.startupboat.eu/, and StartupAID, http://www.startupaid.io/) that are developing apps for refugees and the aid organizations that support them.  The overarching global organization for people developing tech tools for refugees, based in the UK, is Techfugees, http://techfugees.com/.  Techfugees co-sponsors hackathons around the world and then works with local incubators to further develop the best ideas that come out of the hackathons.  Two months ago a Bay Area hackathon, supported by Mozilla, was held.  For more information about the local hackathons, go to Hacktivision, http://hacktivision.co/.  

Not surprisingly, Facebook is the main vehicle for on-line communication for aid organizations serving refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  These FB groups provide information, manage volunteers, and, of course, solicit donations.  Most refugees have cell phones, 85% are Androids.  For refugees, WhatsApp is also a main way of communication.

All this to say, there is lots of room for techies to contribute, to get our social entrepreneurship on, and to have the experience of a lifetime.  And, of course, volunteers are needed in many other areas as well.

For more information, go to the website of our campus Refugee Group (still working on an official name), http://bev.berkeley.edu/refugees, or email me directly.  You may want to take a look at the Technology page.  If you want to be subscribed to the listserv, please let me know!

Dianne Walker
(retired from the CIO's office so now I have time to do this work!)



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Re: [Micronet] Re: Internet services for refugees and disaster survivors - Interested in participating

Mathison Ott
In reply to this post by Dustin Li

Realy good to see this going on.

It would be good to see some prep of for communications for the masses after an earthquake, staged on campous. The ham radio club here on campous has a mesh network that encompasses the east bay and sf running AREDN project firmware. There is a lot of work going on through out California to establish a microwave back bone from northern to southern California.

This network is for ham traffic only... but I see the utility in providing sites that supply internet connectivity to the public and or ham radio operators after the next disaster. 

Is there any work going on in the bay area or campous to cash / establish equipment.  I for one know all those student will need to get word to there familys when the next one hits. I don't think ucb's eoc or even ist have plans to provide any sort of internet cafe style rally point on campous.

Is anyone thinking this could become a standard operating practices, for campous emergency response.

73 kj6dzb Mathison Ott
UCB ARC W6BB vice president

On May 9, 2016 11:49 AM, "Dustin" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Micronet,

I'm really happy to see rising interest in using technology to solve problems in humanitarian disasters - thanks for bringing this up, Dianne! My background is in software engineering, and I'm involved in communications infrastructure development and deployments in acute disasters. Basically, I've helped to set up internet, voice, and VHF radio connectivity in the wake of disasters. However, as someone who has deployed previously with Disaster Tech Lab, I don't recommend either volunteering with them or donating to them (please contact me off-list for specifics).

There are several teams that are legitimately operating in this telecoms-infrastructure-for-disasters space, although to my knowledge none of them have volunteer capacity:
- Télécoms Sans Frontière (http://www.tsfi.org/en)
- Emergency Telecoms Cluster (ETC) - the UN organization that coordinates response efforts in this area, including the efforts of the above organizations (https://www.etcluster.org/)

Getting academics (at all levels) involved in disaster response fieldwork is something that I've been thinking about for a while (I myself went from life doing research at a university to doing disaster response). My first exposure to the practical problems of disaster relief was eye-opening; there's nothing like seeing the problems that one encounters when there's no operating power grid or GSM. I think there's a lot of potential to generate research/development ideas while on the ground in a disaster situation, and then to bring these back to the lab and work on them. There's a lot of low-hanging fruit out there - many problems could be solved with a little tech love. The practical details of getting people "field-ready" (and acquiring the requisite funding) are left as an exercise for the reader...

Potentially of greater interest to Micronet, I know of some volunteer-driven organizations in distinct, but related spaces, generally relying on technical contributions (in addition to the organizations that Diane already listed):
- Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN), a consortium of organizations providing digital assistance (http://digitalhumanitarians.com/)
- There are many GIS efforts, many of which do mapping/coding using satellite imagery. The results can be spectacular - I had extraordinarily detailed offline vector maps (including building outlines) for even tiny villages in Sierra Leone, during the ebola crisis. Some of these efforts already fall under DHN, but in general I have limited knowledge of how they operate:
  - MapAction (http://www.mapaction.org/)
  - Humanitarian Open Streetmap Team (https://hotosm.org/)
  - MicroMappers (http://micromappers.org/)
- Humanitarian Toolbox (http://www.htbox.org/) works on open-source software and seeks contributions from coders/testers/designers. However, they seem to have only 1 project going on at the moment.

Hopefully all of that provides a little food for thought. If you haven't tried humanitarian work before, I recommend it! :) The need is real, and I think technology in humanitarian response has a lot of room for improvement.

Dustin

On Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 8:04:16 AM UTC+6:30, dwalker wrote:
Dear Micronet,

I'm reaching out to you because some of you may be interested in providing internet services -- setting up wi-fi, VOIP, VPN, and general IT services as well as internet cafés for refugees and survivors of disasters, such as the earthquakes in Ecuador and Nepal.  The organization doing this work, Disaster Tech Lab, http://disastertechlab.org/, is based in Ireland, but serves people all over the world.  Their website describes their work in detail.  This is not full-time work and is entirely voluntary.  There is some training available, but the expectation is that you'll be ready to go.

I learned about Disaster Tech Lab's work through my involvement with some tech startups in Athens (Campfire Innovation, http://www.campfireinnovation.org/) and Berlin (Startupboat, http://www.startupboat.eu/, and StartupAID, http://www.startupaid.io/) that are developing apps for refugees and the aid organizations that support them.  The overarching global organization for people developing tech tools for refugees, based in the UK, is Techfugees, http://techfugees.com/.  Techfugees co-sponsors hackathons around the world and then works with local incubators to further develop the best ideas that come out of the hackathons.  Two months ago a Bay Area hackathon, supported by Mozilla, was held.  For more information about the local hackathons, go to Hacktivision, http://hacktivision.co/.  

Not surprisingly, Facebook is the main vehicle for on-line communication for aid organizations serving refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  These FB groups provide information, manage volunteers, and, of course, solicit donations.  Most refugees have cell phones, 85% are Androids.  For refugees, WhatsApp is also a main way of communication.

All this to say, there is lots of room for techies to contribute, to get our social entrepreneurship on, and to have the experience of a lifetime.  And, of course, volunteers are needed in many other areas as well.

For more information, go to the website of our campus Refugee Group (still working on an official name), http://bev.berkeley.edu/refugees, or email me directly.  You may want to take a look at the Technology page.  If you want to be subscribed to the listserv, please let me know!

Dianne Walker
(retired from the CIO's office so now I have time to do this work!)



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