Thursday, December 5, 2013

ICTs in Mitigation presented at ITU COE in Hanoi

Three talks in one day at the  ITU Asia-Pacific Centre of Excellence Training on ICT Applications on Mitigating Natural Disaster. The event was hosted by Viettel and held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Hanoi, Vietnam from 28th to the 29th of November, 2014.

First talk :: The presentation emphasized on a national emergency communication plans.; "considerations for developing a resilient emergency communication system." To that end one needs to
1. Understand the Natural & Industrial hazard risk profile (e.g. Mongolia)
2. Determine the emergency ICT system:
    (a) State of the plans, policies, and procedures
    (b) Clarity of EM stakeholder roles and responsibilities
    (c) Implementation of multi-agency situational-awareness
    (d) Gaps in communications and business continuity plans
    (e) Readiness on all-hazards all-media communication

A lot of the lessons learned were taken from the LIRNEasia report to UNESCAP

Second talk :: Sahana ecosystem for developing Disaster Mitigation applications - The Sahana ecosystem essentially comprise a community of practice; namely, the group of individuals sharing a common interest in investing their resources towards developing information systems for disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery phases. The power of the community of practice approach is one of the main reasons for the Philippines community was able to get Sahana community’s assistance to fulfil their humanitarian operations information sharing and publishing needs. Sahana members could be identified as “technology stewards.” - terminology adopted from communities of practice theory.

Third talk :: A national emergency communication protocol should implement the CAP standard with defining the country profile, register of alerting authorities, and alerting procedures. The presented the Common Alerting Protocol-enabled future trends of disaster warning applications. The all-hazard all-media protocol is quickly expanding into ads and digital signage space.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Strix ideal for ITU's Smart Sustainable Development Model

Spot-On's STRIX application coupled with YAZMI satellite system is an ideal solution for ITU's Smart Sustainable Development Model. Strix is capable of receiving syncronous (live streams of audio & video) and asynchronous data (files) and then making them available through a local area network. STRIX & YAZMI combine to provide the internet experience to those undeserved digizens who do not have access to quality broadband communications.

The Odyssey Tablet PC is designed to connect directly to the Yazmi satellite with the Yazmi antenna or connect to a Strix receiver-server box though the WiFi. The school solution provides live streams of classroom lectures on to the Tablet PC. Students can visit the library to access text-books to read, watch videos, or listed to audio sound bytes. Health educators can utilize the same applications to provide health education programs and sophisticated medical procedures to rural practitioners

During a crisis the Strix and Yazmi solution can be used to provide early warnings and support emergency response operations with situational-awareness information.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Nirogi Lanka's Mobile Health Information System

Nirogi Lanka project of the Sri Lanka Medical Association, now in its latest phase termed as Norogi Diviya, is implementing mobile technologies to cost-effectively digitize and efficiently gather the field-level Non-communicable Disease (NCD) cohort data.

Spot-On recently signed an agreement with the NirogiLK project to build and support the mobile Health Information System. The application is designed to work on Smart-Phone, Tablet-PC and Netbook with browser-based software. The decision-guided-questionnaire software application would collect the categorical information, through the mobile devices and stored in the HIS master database. Those data is then subject to analyses to find policy relevant patterns in the public health data.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

APT Manila meeting leading to Sahana Center of Excellence at AIT

The International Telecommunication Union - Development Sector (ITU-D) invited me to present on an "Introduction to Operationalizing the Common Alerting Protocol (ITU-T X.1303) Standard". The presentation was made at the 4th Asia Pacific (AP) Telecommunity on Disaster Management / Communications; held at the SMX Convention Centre, Manila, Philippines, from 23-25 July 2013.

The panel was Chaired by: Dr. Eun-Ju Kim (Regional Director, ITU Regional Office for AP), Mr. Wisit Atipayakoon (ITU Regional Officer for AP), D. Manluz Hazarika (AIT Geoinformatics Center Assistant Director), and myself. The panel topic termed as the "ITU Session".

A noteworthy historic event was meeting Manzul who is affiliated with the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Goeinformatics Centre. His presentation was on: Applications of Geoinformatics and Space Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). Besides speaking of CAP, I also spoke about the Sahana Disaster Management Software, specifically the developments of the Sahana CAP Broker. Then we got to talking about ongoing and possible future projects. Our conversation continued at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila.

The propositions were on combining the AIT Goeinformatics remote sensing and risk mapping technologies with the Sahana Software. The pre-disaster risk mapping exercises would complement the alerting and post-disaster incident reporting. The integrated technologies would offer solutions for Regional Governments and In-line Organizations. That is when I brought up the idea of a Sahana Centre of Excellence at AIT.

The intent of the Sahana COE@AIT would be to foster research and development capacity at the Goeinformatics Centre to provide the essential information management systems and the know how. Manzul and I agreed that we would set sail with this idea and fine resources to make it happen.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Spot-On software and Yazmi satellites for Distant Learning

Yazmi USA, LLC recently contracted Spot-On to build and customize the "STRIX" software for schools. The satellite technology will bridge those schools that are deprived of access to the world wide web because of the absence of the Internet. Now those communities can receive digital content as well as receive live digital streams.

The STRIX software and local server infrastructure will give the students a similar experience as the world wide web. Experienced teachers living in any part of the world can conduct live classes with sharing presentations in real-time as well as real-time white-boarding functions and directly talk to the students in remote locations.

Educational content will be delivered to the local servers in the schools for students to browse and access content. It is an ideal solution for places limited by broadband access. The Yazmi School Solution brings the world wide web experience closer to their door step. All that the students will need is an affordable Tablet-PC.

STRIX software and Yazmi satellite infrastructure is not limited to the school solution. It is capable of serving multiple sectors and functions such as delivering severe weather forecast information to communities without access to broadband connectivity, such as to the large population of nomadic herders in Mongolia.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Multi-casting Severe Weather Forecast Alerts over Satellite-enabled Tablet-PCs in Mongolia

JASIL senior researcher: Dr. Hijaba Ykhanbai said - "The last disastrous dzud of 2009-2010 is still fresh in the memories of most Mongolians. Herders all together, lost a calculated 9 million livestock worth several hundreds of millions of US dollars. Many households lost up to 80% of their animals, and just become as poor rural families. These losses could have been easily prevented had their been technology to get the severe weather forecast data across to those vulnerable populations in a timely and effective manner."
Yazmi, Spot-On, and Omin-Sat in partnership with JASIL intends to introduce sustainable satellite-enabled technologies that server a dual purpose - one that is integrated in to the Herders' daily lives as well as one that can effectively communicate live-saving crisis information. The quality, affordable, ubiquitous miniature satellite receivers are portable and easy to maintain. It requires very little power that simply feeds from the Tablet-PC through a simple USB connection. The Tablet-PC batteries can be easily powered through solar cells or small wind turbines.

The use of Yazmi Alert Sending over Satellite Enabled Tablets (ASSET) concept was presented at the JASIL hoster workshop on "ICTs for sharing Weather Forecast Data with Mongolian Herders". The greatest challenge JASIL face is in getting, both human and animal, life-saving severe weather data to sparsely scattered thinly populated nomadic agriculture communities in Mongolia. That is where ASSET, unconstrained communications coverage can serve the information needs with data beamed to targeted populations any-time any-where.

Dream-IT-JASIL is an innovation that investigated the use of cellular technology coupled with micro-weather stations for accumulating climate data. However, the innovation falls short with the much needed downstream (or return path) leg of communicating the detected adverse events from the accumulated micro-station supplied weather data.

We will complement the system with the low-cost ASSET technology for disseminating text, audio, and video content; namely, real-time weather maps, preparedness instructions, response instructions to better serve the Mongolian needs.


Part-One: Introduction Part-Two: Hub-spoke set-up Part-three: Sending data Part-Four: Receiving data