In 2011, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) launched the Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) to apply the concepts of the global open data movement to the challenges of reducing vulnerability to natural hazards and the impacts of climate change. OpenDRI supports World Bank Regional Disaster Risk Management Teams to build capacity and long-term ownership of open data projects with client countries that are tailored to meet specific needs and goals of stakeholders. OpenDRI engages with client governments in three main areas:
To increase public access to risk information, OpenDRI engages in dialogue with governments on the value of open data through working groups and pilot projects that evolve into long-term locally owned open data projects. OpenDRI provides technical solutions for project implementation through GeoNode, a free and open source data sharing platform. The Open Data for Resilience Index is an online tool where anyone can track and assess open data related to natural hazards. Explore Projects
To engage communities in the creation of accurate and timely data about the rapidly evolving urban and rural environments where they live, OpenDRI works with governments and local communities to utilize simple, collaborative, crowdsourced mapping tools such as OpenStreetMap (OSM). OpenDRI has also created and is supervising the Open Cities Project that facilitates community-mapping activities. Explore Projects
To communicate risk more effectively to decision-makers in planning, preparedness and response activities, OpenDRI works with governments and partners to develop InaSAFE software. By combining data from scientists, local governments and communities, InaSAFE provides insights into the likely effects of disaster events. Explore Projects
The OpenDRI team, in partnership with international and national agencies, has developed this suite of complementary tools to improve risk information through better access to data. These tools have global developer and user communities, all of whom contribute to the ongoing use and development of the tools – all of which are aimed at providing better information for decision makers at all levels to take action to reduce, prepare for, and recover from disaster risks. While engaging with government to leverage the usage of these tools, the OpenDRI also strive to create local communities of user and developers involving government agencies, universities, NGOs, innovation hub to create sustainable capacity.
As the ideas of open mapping and open data continue to gain traction in the disaster risk management and sustainable development space, Open Data for Resilience Initiative values implementing projects in strategic and ethical ways above all. The following principles highlight the standards for disaster risk data and Open Data projects that we uphold:
Disaster risk data should be:
Open by default
At the core of OpenDRI projects is the principle that any data collected or produced during disaster risk management efforts is assumed to be open unless its release would have justifiable negative implications. Plans for making data open are established at the start of any affiliated project.
Accessible, Licensed, & Documented
The creation of risk information should be be broadly inclusive, OpenDRI engages stakeholders from the government, scientific and technical agencies, the public, civil society organizations, and at-risk communities at multiple stages of the data creation and implementation processes.
Wherever possible, OpenDRI supports for risk information to be developed and managed at the scale that it describes: city level data managed by local government, country level data by national government, etc.
Communicated in ways that meet the needs of diverse users
Investing in simple tools, tailored to individual use-cases is prioritized as a means of making the creation of risk information as accessible and contextually relevant a process as possible.
Open Data projects in the disaster risk space should be designed to:
Engage user communities
OpenDRI works with potential users to understand their priorities and what they would find more useful prior to project implementation. Once the data is released, we do our best to support the activity as well as the growth of other initiatives that can use the newly opened data.
Develop Strong Institutional Partnerships
Through our partnerships, OpenDRI can help facilitate the transparent communication of activities, the sharing of knowledge and results, along with coordination for collective action that can reduce the duplication of efforts across different sectors of society.
Prioritize Open Source
As often as possible, OpenDRI seeks to leverage open source software to foster increased participation and ultimately, encourage active and collaborative communities who are able to customize software to their specific use cases.
Set clear, long-term goals
It is important to OpenDRI that while maintaining flexibility, specific and measurable goals are defined at the start of a project to help manage expectations and support clear communication between project partners and stakeholders. The movement is fundamentally about affecting behavior and relationships and as such sustained engagement is required for open data projects to achieve success.
The OpenDRI Team
The Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) team consists of staff and consultants from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) of the World Bank. Together, the team has extensive expertise in disaster risk management, geospatial technology, data management, open source software development, risk communication, and international development and policies. Team members work across GFDRR and World Bank units including the regional Disaster Risk Management teams of the South Asia, East Asia Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean regions and are also active participants in international and local technical communities such as OpenStreetMap (OSM), the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo), and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), among others.
Open Data for Resilience Initiative is managed by the GFDRR Innovation Lab. For any questions or concerns, please use this submission box or email us at: opendri [at] gfdrr [dot] org