Created on 2017-01-19 14:36

Published on 2017-01-19 14:53

This is Part 2 of the series on “Re-imagining the way society prepares and responds to emergencies” Read Part 1 here

The vision portrayed in the previous post is ambitious, but we believe it is achievable in the coming years if all the key actors in the community ecosystem – regulators, civilian groups, cities, startups, corporates, NGOs – collaborate effectively.

The open-ecosystem should be chained together by a set of inter-linked initiatives. The following are what we perceive as the most critical initiative design challenges to address in order to build a solid foundation of an integrated open-platform.

  • Scalability: are the solutions relevant for all forms of emergencies – smaller accidents (frequent) to bigger disaster (rare)? 
  • Familiarity: are the solutions part of daily workflow of key response agencies? Is the affected population able to get services from channels that they are already familiar with?
  • Incentives: are the partners in the ecosystem sufficiently incentivised to be part of network?
  • Confidentiality: Is civilian data and competitive businesses information kept confidential?
  • Open Architecture: Is the platform open for future integrations to adapt to a city’s context?
  • Implementation Ease: does the initiative have – low implementation cost, short deployment time-frame and high perceived value?

The prioritisation and favorability of every initiative on the platform can be adjudged based on how well they solve the design challenges listed above.

Initiatives that are relevant for all scales of emergencies – are likely to be part of response agency’s daily workflow, and hence score higher on the familiarity aspect. Solutions that directly touches the public (e.x. crisis alert system), are likely to have higher perceived value.

Our hypothesis is that all potential initiatives on the platform will lie across five dimensions:

  • Communication Layer – ability to connect various stakeholders.
  • Service Layer – ability to deliver services like healthcare, accommodation etc.
  • Goods Layer – ability to efficiently deliver goods where it’s needed the most.
  • People Layer – ability to move and utilise the skills of people.
  • Capital Layer – ability to manage and allot monies to maximise recovery.

For a systematic progression of integrations, the first set of innovations should be focused on strengthening the communication layer to bridges the information gap between different stakeholders. It is over this communication layer that services of every essential vertical – like healthcare, accommodation, logistics etc – can be built.

Schematic representation of dependencies of different services over communication layer

We firmly believe that high impact integration opportunities with the properties necessary for scaled operation are technically feasible with today’s technology. In subsequent posts, we will explore a few initiative along some of these dimensions and judge their efficacy along the design challenges.

Team Operation Resilience