Disaster preparedness: a universal tech solution?

Jessica Ports Robbins

25 Apr 2017, 3 p.m.
Room 9

In 2013, the Red Cross's Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC) developed two smartphone app templates, one for First Aid preparedness and one for Multi-Hazard preparedness.

These templates were designed to be customised and released by any Red Cross or Red Crescent National Society around the world, and represent a unique undertaking in terms of the scale and scope of deployment across the world.

This research is a process evaluation-based case study of the GDPC's smartphone application program, examining the design and delivery of ICTs within the prominent international humanitarian network of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It explores and describes two smartphone apps developed by the GDPC, and the stages of design, delivery and initial receipt of these apps. It examines these apps in the space of disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness, with an emphasis on the work of the GDPC and two specific Red Cross National Societies in developing countries that have adopted these apps for their countries' use: Chile and the Philippines.

The study primarily draws on GDPC staff and staff from the Chilean and Philippine Red Cross National Societies, as representatives from within disaster-prone developing countries that have customised and released the apps, and briefly, users of the smartphone apps via the Google Analytics data available from Apple and Android platforms and app store reviews.

The aim is to help identify whether these efforts are aware of, considerate of, and inclusive of Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICT4D) best practice, gaining detailed insight into the processes involved at each site, to identify and recommend best practices for the future deployment of these smartphone apps specifically, and to ICT4D interventions more broadly.