Project Title: Relief Oversight/Smart Response Initiative: Maximize the impact of disaster relief dollars
Skills Most Needed: MYSQL, PHP, CSS
GitHub Issue List: https://github.com/smilow/
Interested in working on this project at your Crisis Camp? Email: ben@disasteraccountability.
Problem: After devastating disasters, millions (or billions) of dollars are donated to save lives. Despite overwhelming generosity, donated resources do not always reach those in greatest need.
Most donations are not based on the ability or capacity of organizations to deliver critical services and most donors rely on appeals to emotion, generic anecdotes, and brand recognition. Simply put, many of the wrong groups raise the most money. For example, one year after the Haiti earthquake, DAP found that nearly half of the donations sat unused as conditions continued to deteriorate and cholera killed thousands. Billions of individual, corporate, foundation, and even public dollars continue to lack the most basic independent oversight.
In developing countries around the world, international NGOs often replace governments by providing critical services on their own terms, without engaging local governments and civil society organizations. Here in the U.S., there are mega relief groups that raise millions after disasters while local groups often go uncompensated. Until resource distribution changes in disaster relief and humanitarian aid, this problem will repeat itself, over and over.
Project summary: Disaster Accountability Project is building an independent website/clearinghouse of data on the activities and on-ground capacity of disaster relief and humanitarian aid organizations operating in the U.S. and in disaster-vulnerable regions around the globe.
The publicly accessible database will detail the capacity and activities of disaster relief and humanitarian aid organizations in dozens of countries before disaster occur. The information will be used to:
1) ensure resources are more appropriately distributed after disasters to organizations that have a greater capacity to deliver critical services
2) improve coordination between responding organizations
3) empower host-countries with information about organizations operating within their borders
4) incentivize transparency in disaster relief and humanitarian aid efforts
5) hold more organizations accountable for long-term preparedness and mitigation initiatives
This effort will save lives and reduce suffering after disasters by improving humanitarian/aid organizations through sector-wide independent oversight, and enhance resource distribution, aid transparency, and coordination. The website clearinghouse will serve as an intermediate step toward much-needed, independent on-the-ground monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian aid operations to maximize the impact of impact and effectiveness.