OCHA and Microsoft partner on Haiti earthquake coordination website

Summary

Microsoft is helping OCHA to provide a place for aid organisations to exchange information and collaborate on Haiti. OneResponse, an online platform, contains contact lists, coordination meeting schedules, results of needs assessments and other key features to assist with the humanitarian response.

OneResponse is a collaborative inter-agency website designed to enhance humanitarian coordination within the cluster approach, and support the predictable exchange of information in emergencies at the country level.

In order to avoid the multitude of one-off ad hoc websites developed in each new emergency, there was inter-agency consensus in early 2008 that a single website was needed to support the predictable exchange of information in emergencies at the country level.

The inter-agency web platform was first field tested in May 2008 in response to Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar. Since then, OCHA has continued to develop the website based on the requirements and functionalities identified in partnership with the Cluster/Sector Information Management focal points and Microsoft, as well as lessons learned from both the Myanmar website and www.humanitarianreform.org. OneResponse is the successor to three different OCHA sites: www.humanitarianreform.org, www.humanitarianinfo.org, and ochaonline.un.org/fieldoffice, plus numerous ad-hoc non-OCHA sites.

In December 2008, the IASC Working Group requested the IASC Task Force on Information Management develop “an improved inter-agency web-platform to support and manage the exchange of operational information in emergencies, taking into account relevant existing web platforms and avoid duplication of existing agency web based resources”.

Microsoft’s collaboration with OCHA on OneResponse is based on a public private partnership initiated in early 2006, to work together on information management and information technology issues in humanitarian response. Building on this partnership, Microsoft committed to developing, hosting and supporting the Inter Agency Website, based on the functional requirements defined by the Clusters and OCHA.

Further information