decision makers needs workshop report

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  1. 1. REPORT FROM THE WORKSHOP ONFIELD-BASED DECISION MAKERS INFORMATION NEEDS in Sudden Onset DisastersDM NOctober 2013
  2. 2. AUTHORS: Erica Gralla (egralla@email.gwu.edu) George Washington UniversityJarrod Goentzel (goentzel@mit.edu) Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyBartel Van de Walle (b.a.vandewalle@uvt.nl) Tilburg UniversityWORKSHOP ORGANISERS: Lars Peter Nissen (lnp@acaps.org) Assessments Capacities ProjectAndrej Verity (verity@un.org | @andrejverity) United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian AffairsDESIGNER: Ana Macau (macau.ana@gmail.com) M.D. 13 Universidade Lusfona de Humanidades e TecnologiasThis framework was developed through ACAPS and UN-OCHAs support to the Decision Makers Needs Community of Interesthttp://digitalhumanitarians.com/communities/decision-makers-needsDM N CommunityCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
  3. 3. CONTENTS FOREWORD3EXECUTIVE SUMMARY51. INTRODUCTION9MOTIVATION9OBJECTIVE9SCOPE10ORGANIZATION, SUPPORT, AND FACILITATION10SUMMARY OF WORKSHOP PROGRAM11INTRODUCTION TO RESULTS112. DECISIONS12DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DECISIONS EXERCISE12GROUP RESULTS FOR DECISIONS EXERCISE13CONSOLIDATED RESULTS OF DECISIONS EXERCISE24POTENTIAL DECISION FRAMEWORKS BASED ON THE CONSOLIDATED RESULTS253. INFORMATION27DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INFORMATION EXERCISE27GROUP RESULTS FOR INFORMATION EXERCISE28SURVEY ON INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS35CONSOLIDATED RESULTS394. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION45Appendix A: Workshop Program and Participants47Appendix B: List of Tables and Figures50
  4. 4. REPORTFROMTHEWORKSHOPONFIELDBASEDDECISIONMAKERSINFORMATIONNEEDS INSUDDENONSETDISASTERSFOREWORD This is a report about what we need to know in the first weeks of a disaster. Taking into account how fundamental this issue is to all our efforts within information management in crisissituations,itissurprisinghowlittleattentiontheissuehasreceivedtodate.Inthepast fewyears,thevolunteerandtechnicalcommunity(V&TC)hasrepeatedlyshownthepotential it holds for humanitarian action in terms of collecting, processing, and even analyzing data. However, as a prerequisite to realize the full potential, data collection and processing must be guidedbyaclearunderstandingofthedecision-enablinginformationrequirements.Theissue has been raised repeatedly by the V&TC community itself. For example, in 2011, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs activated the Standby Volunteer Task Force (supported by Humanity Road) to provide situational awareness through a Crisis Map. During the lessons learned workshop held in June 2011, one of the resoundingly clear messageswasWhatdotheDecisionMakersNeed?Asaresult,agroupoforganizationsand passionateindividualscreatedaDecisionMakersNeeds(DMN)Communitytodeterminehow wecanfigureoutthatamazinglycomplexquestion. The group initiated two actions to begin mapping the information needs of humanitarian decision makers. The first was to develop a humanitarian decision makers taxonomy which sounds simplistic but is rather a complex task. Through efforts by the UNs Office for the CoordinationofHumanitarianAffairs,theDMNCommunityrecentlyreleasedafirstversionof thetaxonomy.Nowwecanintelligentlythinkaboutwhichdecisionmakersweareanalyzing and targeting our products or information towards. The taxonomy has been included in an Annexofthisworkshopreport. Decision-making experts have been conducting years of research on how people make decisionsinavarietyofenvironmentsandwhatinformation,cuesandbiasespeopleusewhen making a decision. But within the humanitarian community only limited attention has been giventothisissue.Therefore,thesecondactivityofDMNwastobringtogetherasmallsetof seasoned, international responders for a two-day workshop to articulate their decisions and informationneedsinthefirstfewweeksofasuddenonsetemergency.Theresultiscaptured inthisreport.Thereportisdescriptiveratherthananalyticalandbyprovidingalotofdetails on how different groups organized and prioritized their information needs and typical3 |47
  5. 5. REPORTFROMTHEWORKSHOPONFIELDBASEDDECISIONMAKERSINFORMATIONNEEDS INSUDDENONSETDISASTERSdecisions, we hope that others will continue to develop several additional layers of analysis on topandmoveresearchonthisessentialissueforward. Althoughittooksometimetocompiletheinformationandfindingsfromtheworkshop,itis really exciting that the results are now being released publicly. There is a need to further exploreareasthatthisreportisopeningupandtobeginamuchmoreencompassingstudyof humanitarian decision making. There are amazing possibilities and a huge breadth of work availableespeciallywhenyouspendtimereviewingthedecisionmakerstaxonomyalongside thedecisionandinformationtaxonomiesinthisreport. We are confident that these two steps are just the beginning of an increased focus on an essentialandlargelyoverlookedissuewithinthehumanitariancommunity. AndrejVerity&LarsPeterNissen 4 |47
  6. 6. REPORTFROMTHEWORKSHOPONFIELDBASEDDECISIONMAKERSINFORMATIONNEEDS INSUDDENONSETDISASTERSEXECUTIVESUMMARY Thedevelopmentandspreadofnewtechnologyandtheinternethasopenedanewworldof possibilitiestogatherdataandcreateinformationinacrisis,asillustratedbytheroleofthe Volunteer and Technical Communities (VTC) in recent crises. However, it is not clear which information field managers require to make the best possible decisions. As a result, it is difficultfortheVTCs,amongothers,tocollectandanalyzedatathatresultsininformationthat isaccessibleandactionablefordecisionmakers. To understand the information requirements of humanitarian responders, a workshop was conducted.Itsobjectivewastocreateaninitialframeworkfordecisionmakingandaninitial scopeoftheinformationrequirementsinthefirstphasesofasuddenonsetdisaster,basedon interactive input from field-based decision makers. The framework and information requirementsshouldfacilitatebettersupportand,ultimately,betterdecision-making. This report describes the Workshop on Field-Based Decision-Makers Information Needs in Sudden Onset Disasters, and provides a detailed description of its process and results. This executive summary provides some of the key results and conclusions. To understand the process by which these results were achieved, please refer to the main document. In brief, participants were asked to brainstorm decisions and information requirements, then discuss theresults. Theworkshopfocusedonasingletimeframetheinitialphasesofasuddenonsetdisaster andalimitedgroupofdecision-makerstheinternationalresponsecommunity.Abroadsetof decisions were considered, spanning interagency, inter-cluster, cluster and organizational decisions. ThekeyresultsoutliningthetypesofdecisionsmadeinaresponsearegivenbelowinTable1 (thesameasTable8inthereport),whichlistssevendimensionsalongwhichdecisionsmight be arranged. The key results outlining the information requirements for response are given below in Figure 1 (the same as Figure 10 in the report). The figure summarizes information requirementsandarrangesthemalongatimeframeofresponse.Table12(inthereport)lists seven categories of information requirements in more detail. In the report, detailed lists of additionaldecisionsanddatarequirementsareprovided.5 |47
  7. 7. REPORTFROMTHEWORKSHOPONFIELDBASEDDECISIONMAKERSINFORMATIONNEEDS INSUDDENONSETDISASTERSGiven the extensive experience of the decision makers assembled for the workshop, the resultsofferanimportantfirstattempttounderstanddecisionsandinformationrequirements. Feedback on this report and follow-on activities will enable further refinement and, more importantly,useoftheframeworksdescribedinthisreport. One goal of this workshop was to help Volunteer and Technical Communities (VTC) to understand the information field decision-makers require to make the best possible decisions. Theseresultslayafoundationforthisunderstanding,byproviding(1)aframeworkandsetof information required by field-based decision-makers, (2) categories and types of decisions made by decision-makers, and (3) a large set of brainstormed decisions from workshop participants. VTCs and others seeking to support humanitarian action by providing and organizinginformationcanutilizetheseresultsto(a)prioritizetheireffortstowardimportant information, and (b) organize their information in a manner intuitive and useful to humanitariandecision-makers. 6 |47
  8. 8. REPORTFROMTHEWORKSHOPONFIELDBASEDDECISIONMAKERSINFORMATIONNEEDS INSUDDENONSETDISASTERSDIMENSIONCATEGORIESTIMEFRAME1.Firstdays(flashappeal)2.Firstweeks(mid-termreview)3.Later(donorconference)4.Agency/organization5.Cluster/sector6.Inter-cluster,government,sharedactions7.GlobalLOCUS/AUTHORITYOF8.GlobalDECISION-MAKING9.Regional10.National11.Local12.Lifesaving,Mission/SectorRisk13.ImpactonBeneficiary(e.g.tradeoffs,timeliness)FREQUENCY/DURATIONOF14.One-timeDECISION15.Quarterly-Yearly16.Monthly17.Weekly18.DailyINFORMATIONGAP19.Probablyhaveinfo(CONFIDENCE)20.Canfindout21.Canguess22.Noidea23.Govt/DonorRelations24.Media/PublicRelations25.PartnerRelations26.Programming27.Operations/Logistics28.Security/Access29.ResourceAllocationSCOPECRITICALITYFUNCTIONTable 1: Decision Dimensions and Categories 7 |47
  9. 9. REPORTFROMTHEWORKSHOPONFIELDBASEDDECISIONMAKERSINFORMATIONNEEDS INSUDDENONSETDISASTERS(first days)(first weeks)(first months)CONTEXT AND SCOPECAPACITY AND RESPONSE PLANNINGLOOKING FORWARDScope of emergency situation Impact: damage to infrastructure, livelihoods, etc. Geographic areas affected Assistance requirements Affected population Number of affected, locations Status of affected: displaced, vulnerable, etc. Context Local socio-economic, political context Local environmental, weather, livelihoods Local community capacity, coping mechanisms Public and media perception Public perception, awareness, attention Media perception Political will, donor willOther actors' capacity and response: (incl. gov't, military, local community, commercial aid agencies) Responses of other actors