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Block course by Dr. Soenke Ziesche, UN

Block Course: 

Information Management in Humanitarian and Recovery Operations Before and After Disaster

Dr. Soenke Ziesche, United Nations / Maldives National University

VAK: ME-711.99i / ECTS: 4

Course hours:                       

Mon, 27 March 2017 10-12 & 14-18, Cartesium Rotunde
Tue, 28 March 2017 10-16, Cartesium Rotunde
Wed, 29 March 2017 10-12 & 14-18, Cartesium Rotunde
Thu, 30 March 2017 10-18, Cartesium 0.01
Fri, 31 March 2017 10-12, Cartesium Rotunde

Location: Enrique-Schmidt-Str. 5, 28359 Bremen

Contact: Dr. Thomas Barkowsky (barkowsky@uni-bremen.de)

Course description: Disaster information management refers to the collection, processing, analysis and dissemination of information to support decision-making and coordination in an emergency. Disaster information management requires activities before and after a disaster strikes.

Before a disaster the focus of information management is on the collection, analysis and maintenance of relevant baseline data, which is in developing countries often incomplete or inaccurate. After a disaster has begun the response operation usually involves a large and diverse range of response actors with differing mandates and capacities. Moreover, the humanitarian or recovery situation is often rapidly changing, with accurate and up-to-date information scarce and difficult to locate. Relief workers, undertaking activities in a chaotic fast changing environment, often lack critical information, which leads to duplication of efforts, weak coordination and non-optimal use of resources. This coordination challenge can be mitigated through the provision of predictable and standardized disaster information products and services to all stakeholders.

In this course, an overview will be given about basic concepts of disaster information management through latest technologies as well as of critical pre and post disaster information products. The course will focus especially on challenges regarding the collection, processing, analysis and dissemination of information in a humanitarian or recovery situation. Through a desktop simulation exercise of a disaster towards the end of the course students will be able to practice pre and post disaster information management.

Soenke Ziesche holds a PhD in Natural Sciences from the University of Hamburg, which he received within a Doctoral Program in Cognitive Science. He is also an alumnus of the Graduate Studies Program of the Singularity University.

Soenke has worked since 2000 for the United Nations on four continents in the humanitarian and recovery field. He worked in Gaza with Palestinian refugees, in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami, in Pakistan after the Kashmir earthquake, in Sudan after the end of the North-South conflict and he was the highest UN representative in Libya during the revolution. He was also posted to New York for four years and to London for one year.

Before becoming a consultant in 2014 Soenke was the Head of the Communication and Information Management Unit of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Pakistan. Thereafter, he has provided expert advice on behalf of the UN to the Governments of Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka respectively.

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