When Haitian Ministers Take a 50 Percent Cut of Aide Money It’s Called “Corruption,” When NGOs Skim 50 Percent It’s Called “Overhead”
Crushing Haiti, Now as Always
By PATRICK COCKBURN
The US-run aid effort for Haiti is beginning to look chillingly similar to the criminally slow and disorganized US government support for New Orleans after it was devastated by hurricane Katrina in 2005. Four years ago President Bush was famously mute and detached when the levies broke in Louisiana. By way of contrast President Obama was promising Haitians that everything would be done for survivors within hours of the calamity.
Phi Beta Iota: As we pointed out earlier, Haiti is both an OPPORTUNITY, and a Multinational Engagement decision-support and information-management challenge, nothing more—it demands open source everything, which the U.S. military especially and the U.S. government generally is simply not good at because they have spent 21 years refusing to listen to “not invented here” iconoclasts. What we SHOULD be doing is using Haiti for a CAB 21 Prototype operation in which we flood the place with ground truth assets–civil affairs “wired” eyes and ears, and then create a global open back office that itemizes needs at the household level and connects those needs to resolution via guided paradrops and helo sling loads. The infrastructure is not there for planes, trains, and trucks. Use Guantanamo, McDill, Miami, and Norfolk. Put amphibs out as parking lots and filling stations. Any questions? Just call.
Google Maps updates with new Haiti pics: Hours-old satellite images show destruction
Google has released a new KML overlay — tech speak for map layer — that includes fresh images of Port-au-Prince.
According to GeoEye , the satellite imagery company that provided the photos, they were taken at 10:30 a.m. yesterday from a satellite 423 miles up.
By toggling the new image layer on and off, it’s easy to compare what the city looked like before the earthquake with the way it looks now.
Aside from the obvious destruction, one of the most striking features of the new images is the large number of presumably homeless people in the streets of the ruined neighborhoods.
Click here to see the new images in Google Maps.
Phi Beta Iota: Finally, but kudos never-the-less. This should always be the first thing done, perhaps with a global arrangement that has regional cost-sharing in place and can use military air breathers where commercial are not immediately available, but respecting Google’s software and end-user delivery offering. There is still the matter of getting to shared Spacial Reference Systems (SRS). This could and should be used to “plot” Twitter messages that identify need, and in the back office, matching RapidSMS messages that can be aggregated to fund need resolution.
Millions in donations have been raised since the earthquake in Haiti on Tuesday, but where is the money going?
Like Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti which is urging people to text “Yele” to 501501 to donate $5 to the cause — which has raised more than $2 million so far — many other relief organizations have used mobile messaging to quickly gather funds.
Phi Beta Iota: What is most interesting about this is the fact that fund-raising (financial incentive for the organizers that take a 5% to 50% “cut) is very well developed and moving money, while the other end (requirements definition, logistics coordination, and “by household” delivery” is NOT developed at all. This is a good start toward the Global to Local Range of Needs Table, when that is developed, this will “flip” in that people will give for SPECIFIC itemized needs, not as a leap of faith in intermediaries that generally do NOT deliver full value.
What is LACKING is a single trusted Multinational Decision Support Center with both regional and global non-profit “cachet” as well as two-way reachback into all eight tribes of all nations, that can be the single point orchestrating the receipt and integration of all information in all languages in near-real-time, and the trusted point for validating both needs and the resolution of needs through the application of fundss.
Phi Beta Iota: Now imagine a global public fully aware of the value of Twitter photos with geospatial attributes, and a multinational decision support team able to receive and plot all such contributions…. As long as “research” is controlled by secret and ultra-far out organizations like DARPA and IARPA this stuff is not going to be applied practically. Civil Affairs Brigade (CAB) and its Joint Civil Information Management (JCIM), combined with a United Nations Open-Source Decision-Support Information Network (UNODIN), a Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) Information Network, and a Multinational Decision Support Center (MDSC) would go a long way toward getting an immediate grip on all this, in detail, and then creating a Haiti Needs Table at the household level that could be triaged out (see Graphic: Global Range of Nano-Needs for the idea).
Karel Zelenka, a Catholic Relief Services representative in Port-au-Prince, told U.S. colleagues before phone service failed that “there must be thousands of people dead,” according to a spokeswoman for the aid group, Sara Fajardo.
With phones down, some of the only communication came from social media such as Twitter. Richard Morse, a well-known musician who manages the famed Olafson Hotel, kept up a stream of dispatches on the aftershocks and damage reports.
CNN is monitoring tweets and other messages from people in Haiti and reports from those who said they have been in touch with friends and family. CNN has not been able to able to verify this material.
“If anyone in Haiti is reading this, please go out and help in the streets, it’s very ug;y out there if you haven’t seen it #haiti” –From Twitter user fredodupoux in Haiti at 8:04 p.m. ET
“Tipap made it home from Carrefour – saw many dead bodies and injured along the way – said most buidings w/more than one story are down” — From Twitter user troylivesay in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, at 8:22 p.m. ET
AFP/Twitter – This image obtained from Twitter purportedly shows Haitians standing amid rubble on January 12 in Port-au-Prince. …
A local doctor told an AFP reporter in the city that hundreds of people are feared dead.
A local UN employee said the earthquake had destroyed the headquarters of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country.
Seventy percent of Haiti’s population lives on less than two dollars per day and half of its 8.5 million people are unemployed.
According to official figures, food insecurity already affects more than a quarter of Haiti’s population, some 1.9 million people, with women and children the worst affected.
News is still coming in from Haiti even thought night as fallen. Shortly after the quake, our first look at the devastation was given to us via social media websites like Twitter and Facebook.
1st Look At Devastation In Haiti Quake
Tue Jan 12, 10:51AM PT – CBS 2 / KCAL 9 Los Angeles 0:54 | 33138 views
Pictures are coming in via Twitter. The quake, which measured 7.0, toppled buildings and bridges. Sylvia Lopez reports.
After 3 years living, studying, working and teaching in NYC, Manuel moved to London where he currently works as a Senior User Experience Designer at Nokia’s NextGen Software & Services. Manuel is also a frequent speaker in conferences and festivals around the world, on the topic of Information Visualization, in particular the visualization of complex networks.
|Business Networks (24)|
|Computer Systems (27)|
|Food Webs (7)|
|Knowledge Networks (103)|
|Multi-Domain Representation (59)|
|Pattern Recognition (24)|
|Political Networks (20)|
|Semantic Networks (30)|
|Social Networks (88)|
|Transportation Networks (45)|
|World Wide Web (54)|
This is the seminal work in what the author has long named “information mapping.” Posted as a public service with permission of the author, under Creative Commons license. No commercial exploitation is permitted without documented consent of the author.
Book intended to be read two pages at a time. The author suggests printing by the chapter, and then reading with even pages to the left and odd pages to the right, two pages at a time.
Visit the author’s HOME PAGE.