Syndicate content

Add new comment

Submitted by Abhas Jha on
Professor Martins-my name is Abhas Jha and I am the World Bank's Program Leader on Disaster Risk Management for East Asia and the Pacific. I have been a development professional for over 21 years now and therefore have seen many development fads come and go.I share your concern about initiatives that are developed in relative isolation without linking into larger and older initiatives. At the same time I do feel that "crowdsourcing" of the kind described in the write-up on Crisis Commons is not a fad and has the potential to be scaled up. We saw the potential in Haiti where Port-au-Prince went from being one of the least mapped cities in the world to the equivalent mapping detail of Germany! A lot of the post-disaster needs assessment work was crowdsourced to a group of experts all over the globe who each surveyed 500X500 sq.m. grids of space and aerial data. Your comment does provide food for thought on two important fronts: First, the need for quality control in such bottom-up initiatives. We see this in efforts like SwiftRiver which uses subject matter experts to filter crowdsourced data and the WikiPatent methodology in the US which, again, uses subject matter experts for reviewing patent applications. Second, the need to have some of these intiatives in place before the disaster hits so as to link up with initiatives, engagements and relationships on the ground.