Designing tech tools for crisis & natural disaster relief in developed and developing countries

By Eriol Fox

Talk Abstract

What makes communities strong, resilient & empowers them to feel like they are an integral & valued part of a whole?

What can design & technology do to help give communities the tools they need to do better & recover faster when disasters like hurricanes, floods & terrorist attacks hit.

Talk Description

There’s a hypothesis, that more communicative and integrated communities fair better and recover faster when disasters like hurricanes, floods and terrorist attacks occur, we investigated this statement from users: “When the worst happens, we want to help people that experience the same and be helped back from the same” Ushahidi have been investigating what details make communities strong, resilient and what empowers them to feel like they can help those in need and ask for what they need in kind.

Covering our recent field study in Nairobi and our wider community research worldwide, we’ll discuss how Government services like Ambulance and Police view technology and community involvement. Then on to lesser known organisations like urban search and rescue (USR), SARAID, Team Rubicon and The Red Cross perceive and support during crisis and, most importantly, to the communities of regular people that are supported by these services and organisations and how they actively participate in the safety and growth of their communities.

We’ll be talking about the unique and specific challenges when designing for, and conducting research in disaster affected communities around the world, how we plan and perform research and testing and how we approach building products that aim to solve deep human problems such as: How can you trust your local community to support you in your time of need? How do you mitigate harassment? How do people keep themselves safe? What are the micro decisions you make in a voluntary exchange? When does helping, become ‘free labour’?

And, does using AI and machine learning really matter to users?


Working from one mac pro laptop with keynote

This talk is done by either one or two individuals If you can facilitate two speakers the talk benefits from the two approaches the designers take. One takes an integrated long term approach and the other a dip-in approach that is more objective and lighter touch. We’ll both need to be able to present on stage if you have the two of us.