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Emergency Telecommunications within Humanitarisn Disaster Relief Operations

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Emergency Telecommunications within Humanitarian Disaster Relief Operations

1. Introduction
On November 8’th, 2013 Typhoon Haiyan stuck the islands of the Philippines unleashing record sustained wind velocities of 315 km/h. (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs , 2013). The storm which initially affected over 18 million people which included the devastation of large urban population centres in Tacloban City and Roxas City. On November 9, the president of the Philippines appealed to the global community requesting international support, in particular sectors including; search & rescue, fuel and telecommunications were identified as priorities (Government of Philippines, 2013). Within 48 hours in response to the government request, The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) activated and deployed staff and equipment to support Human Assistance/Disaster Relief Operations (HA/DR) activities on the ground with provision of voice and data services as described in their ITIL based service catalogue (ETC, 2013). The provision of these harmonized and predictable services within common operational areas acts as an enabler for the humanitarian supply chain and related logistical requirements (World Food Programme, 2012).
The ETC, led by the World Food Programme (WFP) is comprised of a network of suppliers and service providers of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services supporting Humanitarian actors during the onset of a disaster. Membership of the ETC includes United Nations (UN) funds and programmes, International Non-Governmental Organizations (iNGO’s), Member states and the private sector. It’s mandate:
“To provide timely, predictable and effective Information Communications T...


... middle of paper ...


...s and response in humanitarian logistics can be greatly improved and made more effective and efficient through the use of information management systems, collaboration and coordination through bodies such as the ETC in concert with project management concepts borrowed from private sector organizations. Such measures can greatly reduce the uncertainties and complexities of humanitarian logistics during emergencies. The aggregation of ICT service delivery has been show as a strategy that can be used to reduce uncertainties and complexities by adopting the integrated format used by complex business organizations such as multinationals. To deal with the short-term and progressive evolving nature of disaster response, a time series model can be used in demand and supply analysis in order to cope with the evolution of needs as time progresses.


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5. Appendix



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