It is incredibly exciting to announce that today we found out that our grassroots project, which started as an idea and meeting at an open government unconference, is getting some incredible support to grow and sustain over the next few years. I’ve shared our experiences, and the support that has been growing from academic institutions, companies, foundations, and within our own community.
Today we announced that CrisisCommons is receiving $1.2 million in grant funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, through the Woodrow Wilson Center, to spend the next two years providing support between the volunteer technology community and crisis response and development organizations.
Over the last year of supporting numerous local CrisisCamps in developing mobile, data, analysis, mapping and other tools supporting the response to the Haiti earthquake, Pakistan floods, Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, and other regional crisis events we’ve learned a lot of lessons. In particular, there is consistently a “crisis crowd” that seeks to provide aid and assistance through expertise, information sharing, and technology development. However, organizations have difficulty in conveying their needs, or adopting solutions that fit appropriate security, quality, and usability metrics.
Through this support, CrisisCommons will be building out technology infrastructure support, in coordination with the Oregon State Open Source Lab, that will host projects and CrisisCamps. Research fellows will be made available to develop analysis and recommendations in event response and development that will help shape the future of volunteer technology community response and adoption in crisis events. And members of response organizations will be convened with the many open-source projects to collaborate, share experiences, needs, and develop better partnerships that will hopefully positively impact how crisis response occurs.
The community has been amazing, and the response to each and every event and camp unique and compelling – it’s just the beginning. We couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome from a completely emergent and very organic phenomenon. Thank you!
Read more about the grant on the CrisisCommons blog.