MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and Rappler recently agreed to join forces to help communities get the information they need to deal with disasters.
This unprecedented collaboration combines Ateneo’s e-Bayanihan and Rappler’s Project Agos, bringing together government, academe, NGOs and media in a single sustainable platform.
Agos combines top-down government action and bottom-up civic engagement. It harnesses technology to maximize the flow of critical data before, during, and after a disaster in order to help information reach those who need it the most: the people.
The Agos cycle covers information flows across the critical phases in disaster risk reduction and management: PREPARE (before), RESPOND (during) and RECOVER (after). It uses applicable web-based technologies and social media to manage, disseminate, explain and popularize critical information to the public. It crowdsources critical reports and information needed by vulnerable communities.
The Project Agos platform includes a risk knowledge database and interactive tools like hazard maps. Since the project was launched in 2013, Agos team has been mobilizing volunteers online and onground whenever natural disasters strike.
The Agos Alert Map is now used by various national and local government agencies in tracking critical reports during disasters and weather disturbances. The Project Agos team has conducted trainings for LGUs and civil society groups from 11 regions, focusing on provinces identified by government to be among the most vulnerable areas in the country.
The ADMU’s Social Computing Lab built e-Bayanihan which provides ordinary citizens with a web and mobile based application to report disaster experiences.
The team has used machine classification algorithms, created data visualizations and overlays, built a volunteer management system, conducted pilot tests in identified municipalities, trained government agencies on the use of the applications and participated in the development of data sharing protocols and recommended related policy directives.
The collaboration between Ateneo and Rappler highlights best practices and insights from previous disasters towards building a single, sustainable platform that will enable multiple stakeholders to adopt common workflows before, during and after disasters, one that will reach more communities on the ground and online. – Rappler.com