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Crisis Information Management Strategy Discussion by The Office of Information Communications Technology / UN Secretariat in collaboration with The ICT4Peace Foundation

Over the past two years alone, powerful examples of a range of ICT systems and tools used in crisis response have emerged. From terrorist attacks in Mumbai in late 2008 to the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis earlier the same year, dealing with crises today is inextricably entwined with ICT and the mandate of the UN system.

The proposed crisis information (CiM) strategy recognises that the UN – its member states and constituent agencies – have significant experience in the identification, prevention, mitigation, response and recovery of all types of crises, natural as well as man-made. The proposed CiM strategy will enhance this expertise and serve to integrate and harmonise across the UN system policies and best practices that can save lives and protect human dignity. The goal of this strategy is to help the UN deal with all stages of a crisis lifecycle more efficiently and effectively and to complement parallel initiatives to significantly revamp the UN system’s knowledge management architecture as well as its ICT foundations.  The development of the CiM strategy has involved key organizational units of the United Nations involved in crisis management. These include: the Office of ICT (OICT), the Department for Peacekeeping Operations, (DPKO), the Department of Field Support (DFS), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Department of Safety and Security (DSS), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the ICT4Peace Foundation.

The purpose of this side-event is to present the main components of the strategy and to seek the input and guidance of the wide range of stakeholders present during the Humanitarian and the Operational segments of ECOSOC. Crisis management and humanitarian personnel, information management professionals, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) practitioners, and peacekeeping staff may find the information of particular interest.

Specific topics to be covered include:

  • The current state of CiM;
  • Key elements of the proposed CiM strategy;
  • Proposed programme components of the CiM strategy including information architecture, technology development, stakeholder management and capacity building, as well as critical success factors;
  • Demo of potential CiM tools/platforms.