Crisis management organisation taps into language skills
Crisis Commons is an organisation that, among other things, works to provide manpower for the technologies that can prove invaluable in emergency situations. It also taps into language skills, whether they be geographically based or related to software.
With Haiti they needed people who could speak Creole. They helped out the 4363 project and found a whole global network that spoke Creole. Mission 4636 was a simple way for people on the ground to send a text to number 4636 to submit requests for emergency aid and report their location. The remote team translated the requests so aid workers could get the right help to survivors.
Unsurprisingly the scale of the disaster in Pakistan has generated requests via Crisis Commons and Open Street Map for people to translate for Pakistan. Combining language and machine translation there is a great opportunity to take data and make it more useful.
Crisis Commons has also run short term events, known as Crisis Camps, to quickly provide aid and expertise soon after disastesr have struck. The Crisis Camp run to help in Pakistan has provided developers for the Sahana disaster management system, Drupal development for the Disaster Accountability Project and have been locating information and translating SMS messages for Pakreport.org which is the Ushahidi project collecting information in-country.