| October 17, 2017

Discussing role of informatics in the aftermath of April earthquake

Discussing role of informatics in the  aftermath of April earthquake
KATHMANDU, Aug 12: Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL), Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) and The University of Colorado- Boulder jointly organized a one-day workshop at Park Village Hotel in Budhanilkantha on Sunday, August 9.

The workshop titled 'The Role of Crisis Informatics in Disaster Management: The Case of Nepal Earthquake' was organized in order to 'build on the collective learning of Nepal's disaster relief and response works' as well as to discuss and share the function of information and technology during that vulnerable period.
Among the various presentations given by representatives of governmental agencies and international organizations, Lt Colonel Sudeep Panta also presented the role of Nepali Army during the earthquake.

Lt Colonel Panta, who is the Head of Department of GIS in the NA, shared that the NA, using QuakeMap and data provided by KLL, was able to reach needy communities quickly.

"With the help of satellite imagery, we were able to find out which areas were damaged. Earlier, we were simply focusing on Bhaktapur but we found out that areas like Ramkot and Balaju were heavily damaged. Before the disaster we didn't use open source information at all but we relied a lot on this system of information during our relief operations," he said.

Present at the event, Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Bam Dev Gautam, who was also the acting Prime Minister during the earthquake response, talked about the rescue and relief works done by the Government bodies, and appreciated how KLL's work helped fill the information gap for rescue and relief.

A panel discussion on the role of open data and information in crisis situations was also conducted towards the end of the workshop. The panel consisted of Dr Swarnim Wagle, who is a member of the National Planning Commission; Ram Krishna Sapkota, Joint Secretary and Chief of Infrastructure, Development Division of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development; Ganesh Prasad Bhatt, Deputy Director General of the Department of Survey, and Robert Soden, a PhD student at the University of Colorado, Boulder and consultant to the World Bank.

KLL and HHI announced that they will be working on a research partnership together on Sunday.