This week, the editors of the World Bank blog entitled “Voices” featured a blog post called Opening up a world of data for resilience: A global effort to help access and use countries’ disaster risk information. The blog post marked the official launch of www.opendri.org.
In the post, Vivien Deparday explains that over the past five years the team behind OpenDRI, a program supported by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), has worked to help vulnerable communities around the world share and access disaster risk information, with a goal of providing better information for decision makers at all levels to take action to reduce, prepare for, and recover from such risks. In doing so, OpenDRI applies the philosophy and practices of the open data and open source movements to reduce vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change across the globe.
This newly live site is just one of the OpenDRI team’s latest effort to further communicate our purpose, extend the reach of the data sharing platforms we support, update readers on program progress, and develop the community by sharing best practices. Here users and creators of risk information from around the world can discover projects demonstrating new approaches and lessons learned. For example, ongoing engagements in Tanzania with Dar Ramani Huria, a local group made of community and institutional partners who are using drones for disaster risk reduction efforts and are tracing historical flood inundation extents through participatory mapping activities.
Our incentive to do this is, in part self serving. Very often, we get asked by partners what countries data is available for, where community mapping and crowdsourcing efforts are ongoing, and by counterparts, where they can find out more about other successful approaches. The website addresses these questions for everyone in a simple and localized format: a world map of team projects linked to a series of posts that provide brief outlines of our activities. Typically organized by country, each project page shares information about the risks OpenDRI focuses on in an area, lists associated data sharing platforms and partnerships when relevant, and touches on the actions being taken.
Along with periodically updating these pages and publishing relevant news, OpenDRI team members and partners will post short blog entries to the news feed providing “updates from the field” that mark achievements and challenges. For example, in a recent blog post Robert Banick shared the successful completion of mapping exposed assets in Sri Lanka’s Attanagalu Oya river basin.
Lastly, engagement essentials such as the Open Data for Resilience Initiative Field Guide can be found in the site’s Resource library alongside a handful of publications that reference OpenDRI work. A revised, online version of the guide Planning a Community Mapping Project with OpenStreetMap can also be found there. Publications to look forward to in the coming months include the OpenDRI and GeoNode: A Case Study in Open Source Investment report and an OpenDRI Assessment Guide.
OpenDRI, as an initiative, is still growing. We are pursuing new opportunities to consolidate our experiences as well as experiment with new ideas to improve the creation and use of risk information. We are glad to have you here learning all about it! Come back often to stay informed and please subscribe to our newsletter for occasional notices about lastest publications and project highlights. In the spirit of “openness” feel free to send us feedback and suggestions through our contact form as well.
Thank you for the support!
The OpenDRI team