Special seminar by Roy Wood (MapAction) recorded on 30 April 2013 at the Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford.
This talk will describe the British charity MapAction and its work in providing rapid response geospatial support to decision making and information management in humanitarian situations. The charity has been operational for over ten years and has deployed its teams of highly trained and self-sufficient professional volunteers to almost 40 emergencies covering both sudden onset natural disasters and complex crises. These deployments are usually but not exclusively in support of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The methods used by MapAction will be covered with examples from its deployments to illustrate its extensive field experience. The value to the direction of relief work of having a robust and adaptable geospatial team on the ground in the often chaotic conditions in the immediate aftermath of a disaster will be emphasised. The talk will also include discussion of MapAction's regular participation in disaster preparation exercises, its many deployments to train staff in vulnerable countries in geospatial aspects of disaster risk reduction and its programme of data preparedness which was started as a result of the Haiti experience.