The International Telecommunications Union – Development (ITU-D) sector recruited me to introduce ways in which the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) interoperable emergency communication standard could be operationalized in the region. The audience comprised member state delegates from their respective telecommunications regulatory authorities and their emergency operations centres (or disaster management centres). The workshop: “Use of Telecomunications/ICT for Disaster Management” took place in Bangkok, Thailand; 20-23 December 2012.
First, “CAP essentials” were introduced to the participants and then the policy and procedural steps for operationalizing CAP in one’s own country were explained. Thereafter, the participants assembled in to groups to experiment with the Sahana CAP- enabled Messaging Broker (SAMBRO). The groups put SAMBRO software in to practice to simulate both inter- jurisdictional (between agencies) and intra-jurisdictional (within the agency) as well as direct (from system to human recipient) and cascade (i.e. Agency-A send message to Agency-B’s system, then Agency-B alerts its subscribers) alerting procedures. Enforcing the standard through a software removes the perceived technical complexities; otherwise seen cumbersome for National emergency communication policy-makers to comprehend.
CAP is much more than simply a content standard. It offers a framework for institutionalizing proper policies and procedures towards developing a comprehensive ICT system and an ecology that improves National and cross-border alerting and situational-awareness. The policy and operating procedures are easily managed through the CAP-enabled software. Moreover, it would, vertically and laterally, integrate the existing silo driven different organization entrusted with managing incidents. The Sahana CAP-enabled broker would offer them the autonomy to preserve their jurisdictional obligation but collaborate through a common platform without violating each others territorial and administrative integrity.
Following the hands-on exercises, the delegates engaged in a SWOT analysis to evaluate their experience with CAP and the CAP-enabled software; especially, considering the utility and adaptability if they were to institutionalize it in their own country.
Clik here to read the ITU-D workshop session 8 CAP report
The slides: “Introduction to Operationalizing CAP“