Archive for the Innovation & Technology Category

Why GIS Mapping Technology is a Powerful Tool for Humanitarian Aid

Esri President, Jack Dangermond, presents the President's award to Direct Relief board member, Dorothy Largay, and me.

Direct Relief was honored with the 2013 President’s Award from technology company Esri for outstanding use of mapping software known as geographic information systems (GIS) last Monday at the Esri International User Conference. Throughout the rest of the conference, while listening to terrific workshops and paper presentations on topics from cartographic design to the exploration of Mars, I had a […]

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Improving Disaster Response through Information Analysis with Palantir

After Hurricane Sandy, Direct Relief was able to view evacuation zones in relation to our clinic partners to understand areas of highest need.

In the early hours after Hurricane Sandy struck the eastern United States very little was known with reasonable certainty about how the storm was affecting specific areas, particularly those areas with a disproportionate share of low-income and socially-vulnerable people. Direct Relief was busy at the time assembling and cross-referencing datasets on everything from weather forecasts to pharmacy status to electrical […]

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Strata Conference Sparks New Ideas for Using Big Data for Good

Direct Relief's work with Palantir Technologies after Hurricane Sandy was highlighted at the conference.

Direct Relief’s Research and Analytics Associate, Jen Lemberger, is at the O’Reilly Media, Inc. Strata Conference held Feb. 26-28 in Santa Clara, Calif. The conference brings together leading minds in big data. Below she explains how what she has learned at the conference so far will lead to new tools, ideas, and approaches for Direct Relief. You can follow her […]

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Palantir Expands Commitment to Help Improve Disaster Response

Direct Relief used Palantir technology before, during, and after Hurricane Sandy to assist those affected by the storm.

Direct Relief will continue to expand work with technology company, Palantir, as a result of a Commitment to Action announced at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting last week in which the company pledged to help aid organizations utilize Palantir technology to focus assistance where it is needed most before, during, and after emergencies. This commitment is the first of its […]

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Health Survey Sets Baseline for Positive Change in Rural Liberia

A frontline health worker with Tiyatien Health conducts a health survey with a family. Photo courtesy of Tiyatien Health.

In August 2012, humanitarian organization, Last Mile Health, in partnership with Direct Relief, began surveying households in Konobo District in rural Liberia to understand the regional incidence of pneumonia—the most common cause of death for children under the age of five worldwide. The survey results identified community-specific barriers to health care, estimated the prevalence of children with pneumonia who did […]

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Helping Last Mile Health Put Konobo, Liberia on the Map

Konobo map

In the remote rural district of Konobo, Liberia teams of frontline health workers from Last Mile Health (TH) are often up to their knees in mud. Narrow dirt paths winding through thick jungle, most of which appear on no official maps, are often the only conduits linking villages with life-saving health services. When the rains come, often a weekly occurrence […]

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