Dr Rouhani outlines AMAL’s development of a mobile app: designed to assist and provide tools for risk planning and emergency management and to help professionals and local communities if experts are not available.
AMAL in Heritage is a programme for managing disaster and conflict risks for cultural heritage in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Launched by Global Heritage Fund (GHF) and its international partners, AMAL in Heritage responds to the need for a comprehensive programme of cultural emergency management. The increasing number of disasters and conflicts and also the scale of damage to and destruction of heritage places and antiquities in this region have necessitated the use of all possible and latest methods and technologies for reducing risks, managing emergency situation, and recovery. There is a need for a sustainable, cost-effective, and comprehensive platform and toolkit to equip cultural heritage practitioners and volunteers on the ground with the tools, training, and capacity they need to prepare for disasters before they come; respond to them when they arrive; and begin recovering from them after the smoke has cleared.
AMAL in Heritage develops plans, tools, and training materials for risk preparedness, emergency response, and recovery of movable and immovable cultural heritage. AMAL in Heritage is supported by a mobile and web application to offer management, data recording, and mapping tools and to deliver technical and training support to local heritage professionals in the region. A survey carried out by GHF for AMAL in Heritage shows that although the use of new online technologies and applications for preparedness, emergency response, and recovery has become a trend in many sectors, including humanitarian, cultural heritage sector has not received enough advantage from this possibility yet. Rapid Damage Assessment is the first element of AMAL’s mobile application that has been developed by AMAL in Heritage partners. This component was considered the most important initial step because a timely response to disaster can reduce the degree and extent of damage and prevent the permanent loss of cultural heritage. The objective of a rapid damage assessment is to identify the extent and impact of the damage caused by the disaster and to identify priorities for intervention. To fill the gap created by the absence of international assistance, Global Heritage Fund is partnering with the Prince Claus Fund, the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and the International Scientific Committee on Risk Preparedness of ICOMOS (ICOMOS-ICORP) to launch the ‘AMAL in Heritage’ programme.