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Intricacies of implementing an ITU-T X.1303 cross-agency situational-awareness platform in Maldives, Myanmar, and the Philippines


Abstract and Figures

Maldives, Myanmar, and the Philippines are vulnerable to natural disasters [1]. Sendai Framework 1 of Action calls for risk reduction by implementing early warning systems [2]. A prevailing challenge is for authorities to coordinate warnings across disparate communication systems and autonomous organizations [3]. Cross-Agency Situational-Awareness platforms and the ITU-T X.1303 Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) 2 interoperable data standards presents themselves as solution for diluting the inter-agency rivalries and interconnection disparities [4]. The Sahana Alerting and Messaging Broker (SAMBRO) was designed to overcome these issues by providing a Common Operating Picture and a platform for all Stakeholders to share early warnings. To that end, the CAP-on-a-MAP project is implementing SAMBRO and the CAP standard along with the policies and procedures in the Maldives, Myanmar and Philippines. The project is applying an agile development methodology with a design, build, test, and redesign strategy for implementing the cross-agency situational-awareness and warning system in the respective countries. This paper discusses the country context implementation challenges and discusses strategies fostered through the introduction of the CAP content standard for warning system designers to consider for overcoming similar challenges.
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Biplov Bhandari1, Angga Bayu Marthafifsa1, Manzul Kumar Hazarika1, Francis Boon2, Lutz
Frommberger2, and Nuwan Waidyanatha2
1. Geoinformatics Center, Asian Institute of Technology, Klong Luang, Pathumthani, Thailand
2. Sahana Software Foundation, 350 S Figueroa ST STE 437, Los Angeles, CA 90071, USA
Maldives, Myanmar, and the Philippines are vulnerable
to natural disasters [1]. Sendai Framework
of Action calls
for risk reduction by implementing early warning systems
[2]. A prevailing challenge is for authorities to coordinate
warnings across disparate communication systems and
autonomous organizations [3]. Cross-Agency Situational-
Awareness platforms and the ITU-T X.1303 Common
Alerting Protocol (CAP)
interoperable data standards
presents themselves as solution for diluting the inter-agency
rivalries and interconnection disparities [4]. The Sahana
Alerting and Messaging Broker (SAMBRO) was designed to
overcome these issues by providing a Common Operating
Picture and a platform for all Stakeholders to share early
warnings. To that end, the CAP-on-a-MAP project is
implementing SAMBRO and the CAP standard along with
the policies and procedures in the Maldives, Myanmar and
Philippines. The project is applying an agile development
methodology with a design, build, test, and redesign
strategy for implementing the cross-agency situational-
awareness and warning system in the respective countries.
This paper discusses the country context implementation
challenges and discusses strategies fostered through the
introduction of the CAP content standard for warning
system designers to consider for overcoming similar
Keywords interoperability, electronic services, early
warning, common alerting protocol, situational awareness
Disasters are a major problem worldwide and a serious
threat to sustainable development. The rapid and often
"Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction - UNISDR."
2015. 11 Jul. 2016 <
"Common Alerting Protocol - Oasis." 2015. 11 Jul. 2016
The “CAP on a Map” project was made possible through the
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and
the Pacific Trust Fund.
unplanned expansion of human settlements, especially in
cities, is exposing more people and economic assets to the
risk of disasters and the effects of climate change [5].
Coastal cities are made vulnerable by the low-lying land
that are often built upon and as such are susceptible to
flood, storm surge, tsunami, and sea-level rise [6]. Many
coastal cities in Asia and the Pacific region are found in
tropical areas with hot and humid climates and low-lying
land, both of which heighten their vulnerability to extreme
As a consequence of climate change, the world is facing an
increasing threat of extreme events. Especially in
developing countries, this heavily affects equal access to
opportunities and development and is a main reason for
poverty. As a result the Sustainable Development Goals
emphasis on the need to reduce poverty and
inequalities. It also emphasizes on strengthening climate
actions and sustainable economies, communities and cities
[7]. Early warning systems for disaster response are critical
to fighting the consequences of climate change contributing
to the factors that influence the SDGs.
Disaster Risk Management interventions such as
alerting/early warning, evacuation planning, and coastal
zone management are important for addressing the
challenges faced by the coastal communities. The project
titled “CAP on a Map” was designed to improve the
institutional responsiveness to coastal hazards in Maldives,
Myanmar, and the Philippines. It would augment the
capabilities of the National Disaster Management
Organizations (NDMOs), National Warning Centers
(NWCs), line-agencies and other relevant stakeholders in
disaster management to interchange and share early warning
A prevailing challenge is for NDMOs, NWCs, line-agencies
and relevant stakeholders to coordinate and interchange
alerts and warnings. To overcome this dilemma, the CAP on
a Map project introduced a Cross-Agency Situational
Awareness platform for coordinating alerts and warnings
and the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) content standard
for interchanging warning messages across disparate
systems. These are the underpinning design concepts of the
Sahana Alerting and Messaging Broker (SAMBRO). In this
"Sustainable development goals - United Nations." 2015. 11 Jul.
2016 <
paper we discuss the Maldives, Myanmar, and Philippine
case studies, their warning requirements and the strategy for
customizing SAMBRO and CAP for them.
This work was made possible through the United Nations
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster, and Climate
The technology provides an overview of the CAP version
1.2, the Sahana software suite, and the SAMBRO web and
mobile applications.
2.1 Common Alerting Protocol
CAP is an OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of
Structured of Information Standards) advocated Emergency
Data Exchange Language (EDXL) content standard. CAP is
designed for all-hazard all-media warnings; a standard that
is recommended by the ITU-T (2008) documented as
X.1303. The World Meteorological Organization and the
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent are
also key advocates of the standard. Google Crisis Response
offers to publish NWC generated CAP feeds through their
products including Google Public Alerts. Federation of
Internet Alerting is a consortium of online advertising
agencies that have extended the service of rendering alerts
on their online ad-spaces. Meteo-alarm and Accuweather
are other, among several, online services that help Nations
publicize CAP messages.
Figure 1 shows the CAP Document Object Model. It is
essentially a XML document that inherits the
interoperability aspects of the XML technology. The data
structure consists of a main node element <Alert> and its
sub elements (node) <Info>, <Area>, and <Resources>.
Each of the sub elements are composed of several other
elements. The ITU-T X.1303 document defines each of
these elements with respect to semantic interoperability.
X.1303, is broadly recognized internationally as the key
standard to achieve the goal of all hazards, all-media public
Figure 1: CAP Document Object Model
2.2 Sahana Eden Platform
Sahana is a collection of disaster management modules that
work as a platform for integrating multi-organizational
response efforts in providing critical information and
communication needs. It advocates international data
standards, it is internationalized and localized [8]. Sahana
software is a wrapper around the Python Web2Py software
development framework. Sahana strictly follow the HTTP
standard and RESTful concept, making it is easier for third
party application to add/edit/delete the information. Sahana
follows a Model, View, Controllers (MVC) architecture.
The code-base is hosted in GitHub and free to use and edit
under the MIT license.
2.3 Sahana Alerting and Messaging Broker (SAMBRO)
SAMBRO, is a specialized Sahana solution (i.e. a Sahana
template), designed with CAP version 1.2 as the underlying
interoperable data standard to serve as a warning and
situational-awareness tool. The original SAMBRO (version
1.0) design, as described in [9], was transformed with newer
features. The current SAMBRO version 2.0 builds on a
decade of action research as discussed in [10], [11], and
[12]. SAMBRO is designed to serve as a CAP message
publisher, aggregator, and a disseminator.
2.3.1. Control
Implementers define the metadata and ready the system
defining the event types, warning classification, predefined
alerting areas, CAP message templates, and grants user
permissions. Publishers are authorized users who creates
CAP warning messages in consent of their seniors and
approve for their dissemination. Subscribers are
authenticated users with minimum roles allowing them to
subscribe to receive warnings of their choice.
The access control and permission of SAMBRO allows us
to control the access of the application at different level.
The permission access can be controlled at the module
levels, particular table levels, functional levels, and/or
individual record level. This is a much needed use-case for
the warning, as there are many data which are only shared at
organization level or between some closed user group and
not to public.
SAMBRO’s Audit trail is another distinguishing feature in
the system. The system keep records of who logged into the
system, who created the alert, when it was created, when it
was submitted for approval, who approves it, when it was
approved and many of the essential information that are
needed for the audit purpose. After an alert is issued, a
snapshot of the record independent of all the external
references are kept in another table.
2.3.2. Features
All workflows are guided by the initial selection of the
event type. Cyclone, Flood, Earthquake, Mass Movement,
Civil Unrest, are examples of event types. They are the high
level category of disaster. The system adopts a set of rules
for each event type, such as filtering the set of relevant CAP
message templates, warning classification, predefined alert
areas, and message recipients. The warning classification
are for message recipients to summarize the severity,
certainty, and urgency CAP properties of the warning
message. The warning classification is not to be confused
with the scale of the hazard such as the Saffir-Simpson
Hurricane wind scale
CAP message templates are predefined CAP messages. It
allows for the Implementers to generate consistent messages
that can be changed to suit the context at the time of issuing
the warning. SAMBRO CAP templates are generally
defined for Cyclone, Flood, Heavy Rain, Earthquake,
Tsunami, and Landslide, so on and so forth. While most of
the CAP elements would carry predefined text some
elements such as the CAP message “description” would
contain blanks that need to be filled in based on the event
2.3.3. Workflows
There is a two stage workflow for warning message
dissemination. The Editor (or CAP message author)
creates/edit the alert, and requests for an Approver to verify
the message and approve for dissemination. Approvers
receive an Email and a SMS with a URL pointing to the
message awaiting approval. The Approver does not need to
be at an office table to use a Personal Computer. They can
be anywhere and use their Smartphone, provided they have
Internet connectivity, to approve the warning message.
Relying warnings is a common practice among NDMOs and
Response Organizations. CAP makes it easy to implement a
warning message relay workflow with SAMBRO. When a
NWC issues a bulletin (alert) or a warning, the NDMO can
relay that message. SAMBRO is capable of subscribing to
National and International CAP feeds. These are, typically,
through RSS feeds but has the option of integrating specific
APIs. When a message is received through an external
source, SAMBRO offers a feature to relay the message
allowing the Authority to make changes to the original
message before disseminating through the SAMBRO
communications engine.
2.3.4 Communications
The single entry of a CAP message can be disseminated, to
the end recipients, through multiple channels. Short
Message Service (SMS), Email, File Transfer Protocol
(FTP), Real Simple Syndication (RSS), Google Cloud
Messaging (GCM), Websites, and social media like
Facebook, twitter are the available communication
channels. SAMBRO uses a simple Extensible Stylesheet
Transformation (XSLT) to produce the text outputs for the
various media channels.
"Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale - National Hurricane
Center." 2012. 5 Jul. 2016
SAMBRO also acts as an Alert Hub. The advantage of
using any protocol is the standardization of the
disseminated message from the system. So any CAP 1.2
implemented system can interact with SAMBRO system.
Each published CAP compliant warning from other
organization can be imported into the local database. More
exciting is that those warnings coming from other
organization can be relayed to the respective organization.
Here SAMBRO has bridge the gap between the inter-
organizational communications.
2.3.5. SAMBRO Web
Figure 3 show the Common Operating Picture gives an
overview of “What is happening and Where and When”.
The GIS enabled mapping provides more interaction with
the audience. The warnings can be filtered to move into the
area of interest. Each warning has its own main profile that
overview the associated alerting qualifiers, detailed
information relating to warning, any instructions,
descriptions and many more.
The SAMBRO Web Application is localized allowing the
user to choose their choice of the Graphic User Interface
(GUI) language. The localization is fairly easy under
Sahana because of the multi-language capabilities the
Web2Py platform offers.
Figure 2: SAMBRO Mobile App for the first responders
2.3.6. SAMBRO Mobile
The SAMBRO Mobile can run on both Android and iOS
Smartphones. The mobile application was developed with
the Cordova based “PhoneGap” with HTML, CSS and
JavaScript; allowing the mobile-app to be independent of
the operating system: Android, iOS or Windows. The
mobile-app adopt GCM for pushing messages in real-time
onto the phones. This requires a dedicated internet
connection. Future version is looking at transporting the
information over SMS.
The SAMBRO Mobile is for local Alerting Authorities to
issue localized alerts. For example, be able to quickly warn
a local village of a chemical spill or a large factory fire
opposed to waiting for central national authority to issue the
same. It was also designed to serve as a wakeup call with an
audible siren to wakeup first-responders in the middle of the
night or to get their attention if they were at distant from the
Figure 3: SAMBRO Web Application for Disaster
The design and implementation methodology considered a
scientific approach. [13] discuss the intricacies of applying
a waterfall method with well-defined elicitation and
documentation of complete requirements, followed by an
architectural and high-level design development and
inspection. Given the dilemma of introducing CAP to
novices who haven’t been exposed to the content standard
but are engaged in early warning, it is cumbersome to
follow a plan-driven method because they can become
frustrating to the users and the implementers. We identified
four related areas of study and practice within the broad
field of information system design. These four areas are (1)
User-Centered Design (UCD); (2) rapid prototyping; (3)
agile software design (SCRUM); and (4) action research.
UCD is “a general term for a philosophy and methods
which focus on designing for and involving users in the
design of computerized systems.” [14]. Rapid prototyping
“involves creating a realistic model of a product’s user
interface to get prospective customers involved early in the
design of the product. With rapid prototyping, the user
model, the work flows and information needs without
investing the time and labor required to write actual code
[15]. Thereafter, revise the prototype to address the user’s
comments and keep iterating the process until we agree on
the design parameters before creating the product [16].
Agile software design is defined as “a lightweight software
engineering framework that promotes iterative development
throughout the life-cycle of the project, close collaboration
between the development team and business side, constant
communication, and tightly-knit teams.” With the Scrum,
the light-weight process framework for agile development,
initially the user stories
are collected by involving the user.
These are the wish-lists that client like to have at the end of
the product development. These user stories goes into the
backlog catalogue, which are placed under the order of
priority. The software development begins with small
chunks of the backlog catalog called as sprints. With scrum,
using sprints we can build pieces of software and the client
can experience each part and determine what to do next.
Action research is typically regarded as an approach to
research that balances knowledge generation with planned
action. According to Hearn & Foth [17], “action research
not only aims to understand the problem, it aims to provoke
change through actionable outcomes.” It is also known by
other related terms such as participatory action research,
collaborative inquiry, emancipatory research, or action
learning [18].
The information, gathered from the preliminary stakeholder
rapid prototyping interactions, was compiled to produce a
set of customer requirements. The requirements were
transformed to a set of User Experience (UX) and User
Interface (UI) designs to customize SAMBRO. Selected
participants from the three countries were invited to trial the
preliminary release of SAMRBO.
Subsequently all stakeholders from each country were
invited to experiment with SAMRBO. This, second iteration
of the rapid prototyping, was, once again, used to further
enhance SAMBRO. Throughout this cycle the lead
Organizations engaged in weekly and monthly interactions
with the development team to discuss their requirements
and test the system. The lead Organization liaised with the
stakeholders to update them on the new developments as
well gather information on their requirements.
User stories are documented in the Sahana Wiki Blueprints for:
anmar), and
4.1 Stakeholder Engagement
The project partnered with a National Government
Organization in each country to lead with the multi-
stakeholder participatory approach with the design and
implementation. They were the Maldives National Disaster
Management Center (NDMC), Myanmar Department of
Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH), and the Philippines
Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Administration
Service (PAGASA). Table 1 identifies the list of SAMBRO
Cross-Agency Situational-Awareness platform primary
4.1.1. Warning Practices
Currently, the warning dissemination practices in the three
countries are similar. Typically, the NWC issues a bulletin
that is received by the NDMO and other focal agencies. The
NDMO would use a phone tree to disseminate the messages
from the National nodes to the branches and then eventually
to the leaf nodes. The method is reliable but slow and
laborious because they use telephones, fax, and VHF radios.
Some social media and SMS is used. Such practices are
acceptable for slow onset hazards such as disease outbreaks,
cyclones and floods that provide a long warning horizon.
Present day warning dissemination practices in the three
countries are inefficient in serving rapid and sudden onset
hazards such as dam burst, tsunami, or storm surge, with
very short warning horizons. SAMBRO removes the
laborious paper and manual hierarchical tree structure and
provides a hub and spoke architecture. The SAMBRO
software works much faster than human-based procedures
involving multi-phase message relays.
Maldives NWC:
Maldives Meteorological
Maldives NDMO:
National Disaster
Management center
Maldives Response Orgs: Maldives National Defense
Force (Coast Guard and Fire Search and Rescue
Department); Maldives Red Crescent Society; Local
Atoll Councils; Local Island Councils; Maldives Police;
Maldives Red Crescent Society; Department of Health;
Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture; Ministry of
Myanmar NWC:
Department of
Meteorology and
Myanmar NDMOs: Relief
and Resettlement
Department; General
Myanmar Response Orgs: Department of Irrigation;
Department of Health; Department of Agriculture;
Department of Fisheries; Department of Inland
Transportation; Fire Services Department; Myanmar
Red Cross Society
Philippines NWC:
Philippines Institute of
Volcanology and
Philippines NDMO:
Office of the Civil Defence
Philippines Response Orgs: Department of Social
Welfare and Development; Local Government Units,
Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils
Table 1: National beneficiary Organizations
Another inherent characteristic is the National EWS is that
they have not developed an integrated approach to EWSs to
foster an all-hazard approach. Each Organization is
developing their own early warning dissemination
mechanism forcing the public and Response Organizations
to interface with multiple data feeds. For example, each
agency will host their own twitter and Facebook accounts to
share their information; opposed to a single source
publishing warnings on all-hazards; i.e. a “one stop shop”
Any entity that has privileges to edit CAP messages, can
relay a received CAP message allowing them to change the
content (e.g. description and instructions) and rebranding
the message with qualifying elements associating them as
the message sender. The relay function extends beyond
messages issued through the SAMBRO system. For
example, SAMBRO can receive any CAP message
published by any other system in the world and offer the
relay feature to the users of the SAMBRO instance. All the
National stakeholders might consider collaborating to make
full use of such features offered by SAMBRO that brings
efficiencies to coordinating early warnings.
4.2 CAP Implementation Strategy
The common practice is for NDMOs to lead and be
mandated with warning dissemination. The NWCs are
mandated with detection and monitoring. Meteorological,
Hydrological, and Seismological agencies, serving as
NWCs, would feed daily information bulletins and hazard
event information of significant interest to the NDMOs. The
NDMOs would, then, transform and disseminate those
messages to the closed user group alerts or public.
SAMBRO was designed to serve such a workflow.
Realizing, this important relationship and workflow,
SAMRBO was designed for NDMOs to own and operate
SAMBRO and for NWCs to interface with SAMBRO
through CAP information feeds.
Even though it is in their mandate and best interest to foster
such a platform, the project learned that NDMOs (Myanmar
RRD and Philippines OCD) expressed interest but were less
inclined to operationalizing a CAP-enabled situational-
awareness platform. Maldivian NDMC proved the contrary
with operationalizing SAMBRO before MMS. NWCs were
more inclined to adopting the CAP standard as in the case
of PHIVOLCS and PAGASA in the Philippines and DMH
in Myanmar. A primary factor might be is that NWCs
realize the importance of interoperability and practice
monitoring/detection and alerting on a daily basis. A second
realization was the NWCs already had competent technical
capacity who were able adapt to the introduced
technologies. The World Meteorological Organization’s
program on advocating CAP might be a third factor.
Although NDMOs are mandated with warning
dissemination, given their detachment from practicing on a
daily basis, might be the fourth factor.
To that end, the project administered a strategy that
combined the NWCs in leading the project implementation
alongside the NDMOs. Thereafter, the NWCs would
gradually transfer the technology over to the NDMO to own
and operate. In the Philippines PAGASA would support
NDRRMC, Myanmar’s DMH would support RRD/GAD.
Maldives has now established technical competency and
does not require the support of MMS.
4.3 Organizational Interactions
SAMBRO web and mobile software applications were
perceived, by the users, to be useful tools for creating,
disseminating, and sharing early warnings. SAMBRO was
designed to dilute the inter agency rivalries and bureaucratic
barriers by introducing the CAP interoperable standard for
the siloed organizations to interchange lifesaving
information. However, a challenge faced by the beneficiary
countries is coordinating the implementation and
operationalization the systems involving all relevant
stakeholders. Government bureaucratic layers require
formal procedures for engaging the stakeholders. Often
Government Officials are reluctant or are discouraged by
these bureaucratic formalities to pursue the project
objectives of operationalizing a Cross-Agency Situational-
Awareness platform for improving institutional
responsiveness to hazards. This situation relates to the
chicken and egg causality dilemma.
To overcome the dilemma the project was persistent with
engaging the stakeholders through workshops. Using
workshops as a platform reduces the need for bureaucratic
formalities. However, the downfall to this is that without a
formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the
stakeholders they do not invest their time, take ownership,
and make the project a priority. The participants active in
the design, build, test, and re-design process were junior
level staff. These staff members were unable to convey the
utility of SAMBRO and the project to their Directors and
Decision-makers at the root of the organizational chain.
Therefore, these participants treated the exercise simply as
another ad-hoc activity. Nevertheless, the lead
Organizations have shown a keen interest in
operationalizing the system. Strategy is to prove its utility
over a period of time, then the other Stakeholders would
want come on board.
4.4 Technology related challenges
In this section we discuss the challenges of transforming the
country context warning requirements, including the
workflows and procedures and how those were mapped to
design parameters involving the CAP content standard and
the process variables involving SAMBRO feature.
Generally, technology is perceived as the least challenging
component in implementing any system. Relatively, the
organizational challenges are leaps and bounds. We discuss
some of the challenges CAP on a Map faced.
4.4.1. Short Message Service
Acquiring a bulk SMS service for a Government entity is
difficult than for a private entity. In all three countries, the
lead Organization was reluctant to pay for the service and
was looking for the Mobile Operator to provide the service
in-kind. Such an arrangement requires an enormous effort of
weaving the wave through the Government bureaucracy.
Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT), now falls
under the same Ministry as DMH; i.e. the Ministry of
Transportation and Communication. However, it took over
six months for DMH to get MPT to agree to provide a SMS
Gateway free of charge. The next challenge was that MPT
had never offered such a service to an external entity it was
a news service. Commercial providers such as Clickatell
and Text Magic do not service Myanmar.
PAGASA was reluctant to undergo the procedures for
getting one of the local mobile operators: Globe or Smart to
provide a bulk SMS package. Instead the project had to
purchase the service from Clickatell. Going across the
ocean add more uncertainties and delays to the SMS alert
dissemination. PAGASA could leverage the “free mobile
disaster alerts law” [19].
The project facilitated for the Communications Authority of
Maldives (CAM) to Mobile Operators to provide an SMS
gateway. CAM negotiate a discounted rate for alerting first-
responders. In the event the entire Nation needs to be
notified of a Tsunami, for example, the SMS would be free.
However, the deal did not come through. Instead, NDMC
worked out a public private partnership with a local Bank to
purchase the SMS service.
4.4.2. Email
In Myanmar we realized that many First-Responders did not
have an Email account. Therefore, they are unable to
receive email alerts. Email also serves as the means for
verifying and activating a new user’s registration and
requesting for resetting the password. In the Myanmar case,
the project had to create dummy email accounts such as However, this account would
not provide the aforementioned features related to a user’s
4.4.3. Mobile App
During the silent-tests we realized some of the Smartphone
to block the audible siren. These were caused by
Smartphone applications that kill applications that idle for a
long period of time. Also certain Smartphones had not
provided the mobile SAMBRO app with permissions to
forward notifications.
The first mobile SAMBRO app was developed for Android
Smartphones. In Myanmar we observe nearly everyone to
use Smartphones. Some were still using Android versions
below 4.4. GCM and other SAMBRO feature do not
function well on Android phones with an operating system
version below 4.4. The app was also migrated to the Apple
iOS platform. This decision was made when CAM
presented that sixty percent of the phones were
Smartphones and of them there was a fifty-fifty market split
between Android and Apple phones. As a result the project
made investments in adapting to the Apple market as well.
Following the CAP standard 1.2 which states the scope of
the alert. The ‘Public’ alerts are disseminated to the public.
In SAMBRO, the implementer can create different groups
responsible for different activities during the disaster and
issue Restricted or Private alerts for this purpose. Similarly,
the previous alert can be updated, clear, cancel or error
easily according to the CAP standard 1.2
4.4.4. Predefined Alerting Areas
The project realized that there is a need for developing
predefined alerting area polygons to enhance warning
efficiencies. To address this need SAMBRO has introduced
a mapping tool that allows Risk-Analysts and Warning
Practitioners to develop a set of predefined polygons.
Identifying the level of risk by geographical area allows for
defining impact-based alerting. Integrating risk maps, with
SAMBRO, allows differentiating community that might be
at a greater risk to a hazard event over another. In order to
save the lives and livelihoods, alerts can be issued to higher
impacting communities first for the responders to attend that
community’s needs first. Thus, removing the burden of
optimizing the response resources.
Naturally, it is difficult to predefine alert areas for a forest
fire a tropical cyclone but can be defined for volcanic,
tsunami, and floods. The National Stakeholders, in the three
countries, faced difficulties acquiring any kind of risk map
as Vector or Rasta GIS data. Some cases they had very
limited risk maps, confined to a few targeted regions or
townships, but as still images; of no use to SAMBRO to
offer interactive analysis and mapping capabilities.
A dilemma with Island nations (or Archipelagos) was
including or excluding Islands that are not visible on a map.
For example, Maldives wanting to develop predefined alert
areas for each of the Atolls, when zooming in to an Atoll
could not see some of tiny Islands to realize, when they
were drawing a polygon, was including or excluding those
unseen Islands.
Geocodes presented themselves as an innovating solution
for overcoming the dilemma of differentiating Islands that
belong various jurisdictions. Philippines had implemented
geocodes to define their administrative areas. CAP provides
means for defining an alerting area associated with the
respective geocodes. The lesson learned from the
Philippines was valuable for requesting Maldives to follow
the same, seeking assistance from the Maldives Land and
Survey Authority.
EWSs, in the region, are gradually evolving to their
required potential. However, the concepts of moving
beyond a top-down approach to a peer-to-peer approach
using software services is yet to mature. SAMBRO has
realized those gaps and has presented itself to server in this
capacity. National policies and strategies must be put into
practice to further strengthen these concepts. A growing
challenge faced by National initiatives is integrating the
early warning dissemination and coordination with all
relevant stakeholders. The authors have realized the
intricacies of implementing cross-agency situational-
awareness platforms in the Region. Lessons learned from
the current experience provides inputs to shaping SAMBRO
strategies for operationalizing such systems for improving
institutional responsiveness to all-hazards.
[1] United Nation International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
(UNISDR), “HFA Progress in Asia Pacific”, 2009-2011
[2] A. Zia, and C.H. Wagner, “Mainstreaming early warning
systems in development and planning processes: Multilevel
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... Second component is the implementation of the SAMBRO software tool that supports the use of the CAP standard. We briefly introduce the technologies but refer the reader to Waidyanatha et al. (2017) for detailed technological insights of the CAP standard and Bhandari et al. (2016) for the SAMBRO tool. ...
... We identified four related areas of study and practice within the broad field of information system design and implementation. Bhandari et al. (2016) discuss these formative evaluations and practices; namely (1) user-centered design, rapid prototyping, (3) agile software design (also know as the SCRUM method), and (4) action research. ...
... Myanmar and Philippines were unable to acquire a SMS gateway for disseminating alerts. Bhandari et al. (2016) respectively. However, the national authorities assumed that it was adequate to provide the messages in English. ...
Environmental issues, such as climate change, depletion of natural resources, hazardous emissions, waste, and extreme weather are increasing global concerns in society and business. According to World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Survey, environmental issues have the highest likelihood to impact business. Therefore, companies need to address environmental protection and sustainable supply chains (Sustainable Development Goal 9). Especially in times of globalization supply chains are complex and companies are facing challenges integrating environmental risk data into their business processes, because environmental risk events are not linked to their supply chains. In this article, we present a novel approach by applying geospatial analytics to public environmental risk warnings to enhance the process of supply chain risk management in business.KeywordsCSRSustainabile supply chainsBDAGeospatial analysisRisk analyticsRisk management
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Situational awareness (SA) is critical to mobilizing a rapid, efficient, and effective response to disasters. Limited by time and resources, response agencies must make decisions about rapidly evolving situations, which requires the collection, analysis, and sharing of actionable information across a complex landscape. Emerging technologies, if appropriately applied, can enhance SA and enable responders to make quicker, more accurate decisions. The aim of this systematic review is to identify technologies that can improve SA and assist decision-making across the United States Government and the domestic and international agencies they support during disaster response operations. A total of 1459 articles and 36 after-action reports were identified during literature searches. Following the removal of duplicates and application of inclusion/exclusion criteria, 302 articles and after-action reports were included in the review. Our findings suggest SA is constrained primarily due to unreliable and significantly delayed communications, time-intensive data analysis and visualization, and a lack of interoperable sensor networks and other capabilities providing data to shared platforms. Many of these challenges could be addressed by existing technologies. Bridging the divide between research and development efforts and the operational needs of response agencies should be prioritized.
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The third UN World Congress on Disaster Risk Reduction, held in Sendai, Japan in March 2015, agreed on a new framework to guide disaster risk reduction policy and practice for the next 15 years. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 (SFDRR) leaves important implementation issues unspecified and potentially creates both problems and opportunities for complex, multilevel governance systems in coping with hazards and disastrous events. Early warning systems (EWS), if built into the mainstream of planning for development and disaster relief and recovery, could present a significant opportunity to realize many SFDRR goals. We explore the complexities of using hydrometeorological EWS to prepare for drought and flood disasters in the densely populated communities of Pakistan’s Indus River Basin in contrast to the African Sahel’s less densely settled grasslands. Multilevel governance systems are often dominated by a top-down, technocentric, centralized management bias and have great difficulty responding to the needs of peripheral and vulnerable populations. People-centered, bottom-up approaches that incorporate disaggregated communities with local knowledge into a balanced, multilevel disaster risk management and governance structure have a dramatically better chance of realizing the SFDRR goals for disaster risk reduction.
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Planetary stability must be integrated with United Nations targets to fight poverty and secure human well-being, argue David Griggs and colleagues.
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Emergency Services Agencies (ESA) are required to co-operate and collaborate on a regular basis to provide their communities with warning information about disasters and incidents. Community Warning (CW) systems are a vital component of ESA operations as there are many different types of disasters and emergency scenarios of varying complexity and uncertainty, which in turn directly influence the type of CW systems that should be employed by an ESA for any particular incident. This paper outlines research conducted into CW systems in New South Wales (NSW) state government ESA. This research highlights a unified collaborative approach to the assessment, development, deployment and use of CW systems that is based on crisis management theory. This approach could be utilised by governments at federal, state and local levels for cross border and jurisdictional management of ESA informational, ICT and process resources. Such an approach would assist government in better targeting expenditure on CW systems and using ICT in an innovative manner. Results also highlight that when developing and deploying CW systems, there should be careful consideration of a number of background contextual issues such as: stakeholder involvement, incident complexity; utilisation of multi-ICT delivery platforms for economies of scale; integration of multi-ESA operational, community, communication and ICT requirements for shared direction; and development of an ICT architecture for building learning capabilities and skills of stakeholders.
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Since the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR), our understanding of the implications of climate change for coastal systems and low-lying areas (henceforth referred to as ‘coasts’) has increased substantially and six important policy-relevant messages have emerged. Coasts are experiencing the adverse consequences of hazards related to climate and sea level (very high confidence). Coasts are highly vulnerable to extreme events, such as storms, which impose substantial costs on coastal societies [6.2.1, 6.2.2, 6.5.2]. Annually, about 120 million people are exposed to tropical cyclone hazards, which killed 250,000 people from 1980 to 2000 [6.5.2]. Through the 20th century, global rise of sea level contributed to increased coastal inundation, erosion and ecosystem losses, but with considerable local and regional variation due to other factors [6.2.5, 6.4.1]. Late 20th century effects of rising temperature include loss of sea ice, thawing of permafrost and associated coastal retreat, and more frequent coral bleaching and mortality [6.2.5]. Coasts will be exposed to increasing risks, including coastal erosion, over coming decades due to climate change and sea-level rise (very high confidence). Anticipated climate-related changes include: an accelerated rise in sea level of up to 0.6 m or more by 2100; a further rise in sea surface temperatures by up to 3°C; an intensification of tropical and extra-tropical cyclones; larger extreme waves and storm surges; altered precipitation/run-off; and ocean acidification [6.3.2]. These phenomena will vary considerably at regional and local scales, but the impacts are virtually certain to be overwhelmingly negative [6.4, 6.5.3].
The second XP Universe and ?rst Agile Universe brought together many p- ple interested in building software in a new way. Held in Chicago, August 4–7, 2002 it attracted software experts, educators, and developers. Unlike most c- ferences the venue was very dynamic. Many activities were not even well de?ned in advance. All discussions were encouraged to be spontaneous. Even so, there were some written words available and you are holding all of them now. We have collected as much material as possible together into this small volume. It is just the tip of the iceberg of course. A reminder to us of what we learned, the people we met, and the ideas we expressed. The conference papers, including research and experience papers, are rep- duced in these proceedings. Forty-one (41) papers were submitted. Each subm- ted paper received three reviews by program committee members. The program committee consisted of 40 members. Papers submitted by program committee members were refereed separately. This ensured that reviewers could provide an honest feedback not seen by the paper submitters. In many cases, the program committee shepherded authors to signi?cantly improve their initial submission prior to completing the version contained in these proceedings. In the end, the program committee chose 25 papers for publication (60% acceptance).
Last-Mile Hazard Warning System (LM-HWS) is an Innovation aimed at providing the Communities in Sri Lanka a system to receive hazard information for early warnings. A major component of the LM-HWS is the Hazard Information Hub (HIH) disseminating CAP Message in the 3 national languages: Sinhala, Tamil, and English. These CAP Messages are sent to the Last-Mile Communities in the content-forms of audio and text. Reliability of the HIH performance must not be any less than a 95%. Such a high reliability is expected in order to give the Community First-Responders time to complete their Emergency Response Plans. The Live Exercises gave the HIH a Reliability score of 78%. For example an event such as the December 2004 Tsunami that had a minimal 90 minute duration between time of hazard starting and the time of impacting Sri Lanka; with a 78% Reliability, the function: Relaying of Message to the Last-Mile alone would take 20 minutes. Analysis also shows the Reliability to drop significantly when the combination of SISO relaying Applications increase. A MIMO Alerting Application such as a Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Message Broker would increase the performance of the HIH and give the hazard impacting Communities additional time to execute their ERPs.
In this chapter, we introduce action research as a methodology that lends itself well to the emerging issues in the design, delivery and research of ICT systems and new media applications. We establish the relevance and rationale of action research by reviewing and critiquing the established epistemology in media and communication studies. Our analysis suggests that if action research approaches are adopted more in media and communication studies, they will enable the field to ground the study of media and communication by addressing real human and social problems. Action research presents a method of inquiry which finally resolves the tension between the observer and the observed by involving the observer in the experiences of the observed. This links up with the potential of action research to improve the design process and therefore the design of new media systems. The chapter sheds light onto the use of action research in the context of user-centred design of ICT and new media to produce actionable knowledge through learning and concludes by implying a number of imperatives in the future design of new media systems.