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Response and recovery with Sahana free and open disaster management system
The Sahana Disaster Management System, which provides modular, web based disaster management applications, was developed by the open source community in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka. Since then, Sahana has been deployed in several natural disasters around the world, including the Haiti earthquake in 2010. The Sahana volunteer community responded immediately to the earthquake and set up the Sahana Haiti 2010 Earthquake Disaster Response Portal to provide and share information needed for the relief operation. These included an organization registry to track the agencies’ relief efforts and to avoid duplication; a request management system where requests such as ‘bring water’ were made visible to the relief organizations and contained ticketing and tracking systems; an SMS service through which citizens could request assistance and information developed in partnership with the US State Department; a hospital management system; a food request portal developed in response to a request from the World Food Programme; a disaster victim identification registry; a shelter registry; a translation service; and situation mapping as well as missing persons and victim identification registries developed in partnership with Google and Yahoo. The quick response and collaboration between the Sahana volunteer community, governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector, is a good practice of different actors coming together swiftly to help those in urgent need, and where the national government structures and capacities to respond to the disaster, were badly damaged.