I attended the Social Media and Disaster Relief Conference organized by the Indian arm of the Center for Strategic and International Studies hoping to learn something.
The existence of the Emergency Telecom Cluster was one new thing I learned about. This is a specialized cluster associated with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee which seeks to coordinate the humanitarian activities of UN and non-UN agencies in the humanitarian space.
One of the things it does is ensure that emergency equipment such as VSATs are moved into disaster-hit locations quickly from the Dubai Humanitarian Warehouse. Various industry partners engage in continuous capacity building activities and maintain registries of human and other resources to enable quick mobilization.
This appears to be a lean public-private collaboration that has significant potential in terms of disaster relief. Much better than the now moribund, lumbering Tampere Convention mechanism.