What Does Sahana Eden Do?
Sahana Eden contains a number of different modules which can be configured to provide a wide range of functionality. This chapter gives a brief summary of the core modules and outlines how Sahana Eden can meet some of your needs.
Many diverse organizations are involved in Disaster Management, from responding to disasters to strengthening communities to providing support to people in need. Sahana Eden’s Organization Registry can track what organizations are active in different contexts, providing opportunities for collaboration and coordination. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Sahana Eden managed a list of 696 organizations who were all providing assistance to the affected population. This included Government Departments, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), United Nations (UN) Agencies and Corporations.
The Organization Registry also allows organizations to record their Offices, Warehouse and Field Sites including their locations so they can be mapped as well as links to other modules such as Human Resources, Assets and Inventory.
By telling you Who’s Doing What, Where, and When, Sahana Eden provides a valuable tool to help organizations responding to disasters know where the greatest needs are and coordinate with others who are engaged in similar work.
The Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) DRR Project Portal (www.drrprojects.net) uses Sahana Eden to provide a coalition of organizations a platform to share information on what projects they are engaged in within the Asia Pacific region. There is information on at least 1250 projects which is publicly available to communities, stakeholders and decision makers to facilitate cooperation and planning and to identify gaps and overlaps.
The most important part of Disaster Management is the people. Whether they are community volunteers or staff working for different organizations, the Human Resources module can help manage the people involved. It will track where they are, what skills they have and help ensure that everyone is effectively engaged with the work that needs to be done.
Sahana Eden can also be used to provide a contact list to ensure that the right people can be contacted at the right time.
The Associação Portuguesa dos Bombeiros Voluntários (APBV) - the Portuguese National Volunteer Fighting Association - use Sahana Eden to help manage their various teams including tracking their experience, training and evaluations as a solution for managing credentialing of their volunteers.
Whether organizations are supplying basic essentials of life to people affected by natural disasters or giving communities the tools they need to restore their livelihoods, Sahana Eden can be used to manage inventories of items and match requests for items with warehouses and other facilities which have them available. Operationally, Sahana Eden can be used to record and automate transactions for sending and receiving shipments. Sahana Eden can support multiple Catalogs of Items as well as providing alternative items to ensure more effective use of supplies. Sahana Eden can be configured to load multiple catalogs including a generic list of items and/or the IFRC Emergency Item Catalog.
The HELIOS Foundation is utilizing Sahana Eden to allow different Humanitarian NGOs to share inventory information to improve operational efficiency by facilitating the utilization of surplus items and coordinating procurement of new items.
A wide range of assets are needed to respond to disasters, including vehicles to transport people and relief items, radio equipment to provide communication where telecommunication infrastructure has been destroyed, and generators to provide backup power. Sahana Eden is able to manage assets, track where they are, who they have been assigned to, and what condition they are in. This ensures that assets are used effectively and efficiently.
The Resource Management System is a Sahana Eden instance deployed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to provide visibility on the assets of national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. This prepares the Red Cross movement to respond more effectively to disasters with the assets they need.
Sahana Eden can be used to collect and analyze information from assessments to help organizations more effectively plan their disaster management activities. Different assessment templates can easily be designed and imported into Sahana Eden to support assessments for different organizations in different contexts. Data can either be entered into an interactive web form or imported via an Excel template.
In order to help decision makers effectively use the information collected in assessments, Sahana Eden provides a range of analysis including custom reports, graphs and maps.
Scenarios & Events
To help organizations better plan for disasters, Sahana Eden can be used to plan for different scenarios, including recording what human resources, assets, facilities and tasks will be needed to effectively respond.
When an incident occurs events can be created from a scenario template to allocate the resources and alert people of the need to respond.
“Some people need to see a map before they can even start having a conversation about the data.”- Sahana Eden User
Sahana Eden has fully integrated mapping functionality which allows any location-based data to be visualized on a map. This information can also be searched using a map-based boundary selection. Maps provide situational awareness which is essential when either planning to prepare for or respond to a disaster. Sahana Eden supports many standard formats for overlaying data on maps from other sources and Geographical Information Systems (GIS), for example natural hazard risks, population or weather.
When disasters are widespread and result in population displacement, understanding and tracking the landscape of shelters - and the people in them - is a critical activity. The Shelter Registry provides functionality to list and track information on shelters and on the people arriving and departing. Shelter details include location, services provided, responsible organization and contacts, demographics, and needs. In addition, individual person data includes name, age, relatives, status, health, and many other details to provide a clear understanding of population demographics within the site.
In the complex domain of Disaster Management, communication is critical. Sahana Eden provides support for messages to be sent by Email, SMS, Twitter and Google Talk. Distribution Groups can be set up to allow messages to be easily sent to many people at once. Users are able to search for specific information and subscribe to receive update messages when new information is added.
Interactive messages can also be set up to allow people to send short message queries to Sahana Eden and receive automatic responses.