Patrick Meier: Twitter Dashboard & Media Analysis for Crisis Response

Patrick Meier

CrisisTracker: Collaborative Social Media Analysis For Disaster Response

I just had the pleasure of speaking with my new colleague Jakob Rogstadius from Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (Madeira-TTI). Jakob is working on CrisisTracker, a very interesting platform designed to facilitate collaborative social media analysis for disaster response. The rationale for CrisisTracker is the same one behind Ushahidi’s SwiftRiver project and could be hugely helpful for crisis mapping projects carried out by the Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF).

Read post see screen shots.

Towards a Twitter Dashboard for the Humanitarian Cluster System

One of the principal Research and Development (R&D) projects I’m spearheading with colleagues at the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) has been getting a great response from several key contacts at the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In fact, their input has been instrumental in laying the foundations for our early R&D efforts. I therefore highlighted the initiative during my recent talk at the UN’s ECOSOC panel in New York, which was moderated by OCHA Under-Secretary General Valerie Amos. The response there was also very positive. So what’s the idea? To develop the foundations for a Twitter Dashboard for the Humanitarian Cluster System.

Read post see screen shots.

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Jul 30

Live Crisis Mapping: Routing Around Old Mindsets

Click for Live Map with Substance Links

OCHA, UNOSAT and NetHope have been collaborating with the Volunteer Technical Community (VTC) specifically CrisisMappers, Crisis Commons, Open Street Map, and the Google Crisis Response Team over the past week.

The CrisisMappers Standby Task Force has been undertaking a mapping of social media, news reports and official situation reports from within Libya and along the borders at the request of OCHA. The Task Force is also aiding in the collection and mapping of 3W information for the response. UNOSAT is kindly hosting the Common Operational Datasets to be used during the emergency. Interaction with these groups is being coordinated by OCHA’s Information Services Section.

The public version of this map does not include personal identifiers and does not include descriptions for the reports mapped. This restriction is for security reasons. All information included on this map is derived from information that is already publicly available online (see Sources tab).

Click for Live Map with Substance Links

In the midst of this transition in Libya, one of the most devastating earthquakes in centuries hit northern Japan, causing one of the most destructive tsunamis in recent memory. Just hours after the earthquake, a member of Japan’s OpenStreetMap community launched a dedicated Crisis Map for the mega-disaster. A few hours later, Japanese students at The Fletcher School (which is where the Ushahidi-Haiti Crisis Map was launched) got in touch with the Tokyo-based OpenStreetMap team to provide round-the-clock crisis mapping support.

Over 4,000 reports have been mapped in just 6 days. That’s an astounding figure. Put differently, that’s over 600 reports per day, or one report almost every two minutes for 24 hours straight over 6 days. What’s important about the Japan Crisis Map is that the core operations are being run directly from Tokyo and the team there is continuing to scale it’s operations. It’s very telling that the Tokyo team did not require any support from the Standby Volunteer Task Force. They’re doing an excellent job in the midst of the biggest disaster they’ve ever faced. I’m just amazed.

Tip of the Hat to Patrick Meier and Team at iRevolution.

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Mar 17

CrisisWatch N°91, 1 March 2011

CrisisWatch N°91, 1 March 2011 (pdf)

Anti-government protests also took place in Oman and Djibouti.

In Afghanistan, the standoff continued between President Hamid Karzai and the opposition over the flawed September parliamentary election. A controversial special tribunal set up by Karzai – which the opposition condemns as unconstitutional – has started recounting votes in several provinces. With concerns growing over renewed tension if the tribunal reverses results, CrisisWatch identifies Afghanistan as a conflict risk alert for March. The political crisis came amid an upsurge of insurgent violence across the country.

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Mar 2

Monthly CrisisWatch Report N°90, 1 February 2011

CrisisWatch N°90, 1 February 2011

report direct link (pdf)

Historic events in the Arab world gripped the world’s attention in January. In Tunisia weeks of escalating riots and demonstrations over dire economic conditions, corruption and government repression culminated in the ouster of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on 14 January. He was replaced by an interim government which announced the country’s first free elections since independence.

Download the full issue of CrisisWatch N°90

The direction of Tunisia’s transition, and its significance for the region, are not yet clear. But, assuming a successful transition, this could mark the first genuine popular revolt leading to a democratic government in the Arab world.

Inspired by the Tunisian uprising yet fuelled by their own long-standing grievances, hundreds of thousands took to the streets across Egypt towards the end of the month, protesting against authoritarian rule and poor living standards, and calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down. Over 135 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured during the initial police response. The army was deployed at the end of the month to curb increasing chaos and looting, but vowed not to use force against the protesters.

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Feb 1

Crisis Group CrisisWatch N°89, 3 January 2011

report download (pdf)

Five actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and two improved in December 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch.

Côte d’Ivoire was gripped by political crisis as incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power after losing to rival Alassane Outtara in the late-November presidential runoff polls. Post-election violence claimed the lives of at least 170 people and more than 15,000 fled to neighbouring countries.

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Jan 5

CrisisWatch Report N°86, 1 October 2010

report link

Seven actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in September 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch, released today.

Guinea saw increased political and ethnic divisions, exacerbated by controversies related to the presidential elections. Two days of violent clashes in the capital between rival supporters of the two presidential candidates, Alpha Conde and Cellou Diallo, left one person dead and dozens injured. Continued delays in the timing of the run-off and Diallo’s rejection of the appointment of the election commission’s new head led to further tensions between the two camps.

In Sri Lanka moves by President Rajapaksa to consolidate his power through a de facto constitutional coup transformed the political terrain. On 8 September the parliament passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which gives the President nearly unbridled power by scrapping term limits on the presidency, abolishing the Constitutional Court and allowing the President to appoint directly officials to the judiciary, police and electoral bodies.

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Oct 2

CrisisWatch N°85, 1 September 2010

Five actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in August 2010, according to the new issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch, released today.

The situation in Somalia continued to deteriorate as al-Shabaab stepped up its attacks and fighting intensified in Mogadishu. Late in the month the militant Islamist group stormed a hotel in the capital killing at least 35 people, including six MPs; days later four AMISOM peacekeepers were killed when insurgents shelled the presidential palace. There were also worrying developments in the previously stable semi-autonomous region of Puntland when Islamist militants under Mohamed Said Atom clashed with government troops.

Kyrgyzstan’s provisional government was further weakened in August. The month began with an attempted coup and culminated with the mayor of the southern city of Osh – the epicenter of June’s pogroms – defying the President’s orders to resign.

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Sep 1

CrisisGroup’s CrisisWatch Monthly Report N°84, 1 Aug 2010

CrisisWatch N°84

Two actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and one improved in July 2010, according to the new issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch released today.

July 2010 TRENDS

Deteriorated Situations
Rwanda, Somalia

Improved Situations
Somaliland

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Aug 1

CrisisGroup’s CrisisWatch Monthly Report N°83, 1 July 2010

New CrisisWatch  bulletin from the International Crisis Group

CrisisWatch N°83, 1 July 2010

Four actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in June 2010, according to the new issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch, released today.

In Kyrgyzstan large-scale violence between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks tore through the south of the country. Over 200 people have been officially reported killed and hundreds of thousands displaced by the fighting, the immediate spark for which is not yet clear. The country’s provisional government was unable to control the situation and failed in its efforts to secure an international military intervention.

An uneasy calm has now descended over the area and the 27 June constitutional referendum was conducted peacefully. However, there remains significant potential for the violence to reignite unless effective security measures and a reconciliation process are promptly put in place.

Turkey’s Kurdish PKK insurgents intensified their attacks in the country after calling off their 14-month unilateral ceasefire in early June. The violence reached its peak in the middle of the month when at least 40 soldiers and militants were killed in clashes in the country’s south-east. The Turkish military responded with a land and air offensive against PKK bases in northern Iraq. The renewed clashes highlight the faltering of Prime Minister Erdogan’s Kurdish “opening” policy and represent a significant deterioration in the government’s relations with the Kurdish population.

In Burundi presidential elections took place amid escalating violence, with several people killed in a series of grenade attacks and shootings over the month. Opposition candidates boycotted the poll and labelled the re-election of President Nkurunziza – with over 90 per cent of the vote – a sham. With the opposition also set to boycott parliamentary polls scheduled for late July, growing tensions risk endangering Burundi’s fragile democracy and undermining progress made since the end of the country’s brutal civil war.

June also saw rising tensions in neighbouring Rwanda ahead of presidential elections planned for August. The government denies involvement in recent attacks on high-profile critics, including the shooting of a former army chief in South Africa and the murder of a journalist in Kigali. But the events point to an atmosphere of repression that appears to have deepened in recent months.

June 2010 TRENDS

Deteriorated Situations
Burundi, Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Turkey

Improved Situations
-

Unchanged Situations
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Armenia/Turkey, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Basque Country (Spain), Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Chechnya (Russia), Colombia, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India (non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Moldova, Morocco, Myanmar/Burma, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nepal, Nigeria, North Caucasus (non-Chechnya), Northern Ireland, North Korea, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Serbia, Somalia, Somaliland, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe

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Jul 1

Event: 25-26 Oct 2010, Brussels, Crisis Group’s Annual Global Briefing

event notice

The International Crisis Group is pleased to announce its new premiere annual event in Brussels: The Global Briefing. This two-day exclusive gathering – involving over thirty of Crisis Group’s senior staff and expert Board members – will take you beyond the headlines to examine urgent issues and solutions to the major conflict flashpoints across the globe today. The briefing is targeted at mid-level and senior representatives from governments, multilaterals, think tanks, NGOs, media, foundations, corporations and universities and will be limited to 120 participants. Details on the agenda, format, cost, and registration process will be posted on Crisis Group’s website at the end of June.

Related:
CrisisGroup update: Conflict in Congo

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Jun 14