Community Emergency Response Team


The two-day workshop (Oct 17 & 18, 2016) in Moratuwa, invited Sarvodaya members from Batticaloa, Colombo, Gampaha, and Kegalle Districts. These participants have first-hand experience responding to the 2016 Western floods & landslide and the 2015 Northeast floods, in Sri Lanka. The objective was to share their tacit knowledge on taking a holistic and practical approach to responding to crises. Then give them the tools to analyze the experience to develop the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) themselves. To that end, we applied community engagement social practices methods for analyzing the knowledge to realize the design parameters for developing the Sarvodaya Disaster Response SOP.
Use the embedded frame below or click here to view the story. Empowering Communities with Voice-enabled Technologies for Crisis Management on Prezi
In order to establish the fact that the voice quality over currently available GSM networks are poor for converting the voice messages to text. These finds are from the Voice-enabled ICTs for Disaster Management project that field tested the use of an Interactive Voice Response system for extending emergency communications to the last-mile. Situational reports received from Community Emergency Response Team members, through their mobile phones, resulted in an Mean Opinion Score (MOS) of less than 4.0, on a scale of 1.0 – 5.
Why voice for Sarvodaya’s emergency communication? The experience from the 2011 Foods in Batticaloa and Ampara districts was that Sarvodaya was able to secure aid from various sources by providing the actual ground situation through their web portal. It had images and information of rescue operations, victims, camps, and the devastation. The images and stories came from Sarvodaya head office staff who were deployed to the area. They used cameras, phones, and the internet to relay the ground situation to the Hazard Information Hub (HIH).