A web map in support of the RUSH initiative

As we are confronting to a global health crisis, CartONG volunteers are putting tremendous energy into supporting our partners and networks. Two CartONG volunteers recently supported the RUSH (Emergency Social-Humanitarian Response) initiative by building a webmap.

CartONG is adapting its activities and the support it provides to the aid and social sector at a local, national and international level during the COVID-19 crisis. Our organization remains attentive to the needs of the sector: do not hesitate to contact us if you need information management and mapping support during the pandemic.

To learn more about the work we are doing in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we invite you to read this first article here. Also check out the first few resources that we’ve made available on the CartoBlog to help NGOs adapt their data collection, accountability mechanisms and M&E for the duration of the crisis.

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As we are confronting to a global health crisis, CartONG volunteers are putting tremendous energy into supporting our partners and networks. They are presently giving valuable time to support international projects – a team of volunteers, for example, updates a dashboard for MSF on a daily basis – but also to local initiatives in response to the COVID-19 crisis. In the same way, two CartONG volunteers recently supported the RUSH (Emergency Social-Humanitarian Response) initiative by building a webmap.


The RUSH initiative in a nutshell

This initiative aims to provide support to social organizations affected by the COVID-19 crisis in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and is the result of a cooperation between Le Group’ESS, the Federation of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Solidarity Actors and Médecins du Monde AuRA. To this end, the RUSH initiative seeks to achieve 3 main objectives: 1) to put emergency host centers in touch with humanitarian aid professionals, 2) to help strengthen and facilitate the circulation of information between associative actors and State services on emergency response, and finally 3) to prepare for the creation of a logistical coordination.

Designing a tool in response to an urgent need at the local level

CartONG has committed to support the RUSH initiative by creating a web map to help match the urgent HR needs of local social organizations (shelters, CHRS…) – faced with a lack of staff and/or volunteers in the context of the COVID-19 crisis – with the profiles of available humanitarian professionals, according to their location and skills. Indeed, many humanitarians are currently stranded in France due to the crisis, and therefore potentially available to provide support at the local level: the mapping tool therefore facilitates contact with the closest people, thus also limiting unnecessary travels.

A web map built on uMap by 2 volunteers

Working in pairs, two volunteers has thus produced a web map on uMap in a very short time (barely 3 days!), a perfect tool for this type of urgent request, with the bulk of the work involving data cleaning, formatting, and geocoding of addresses. This map integrates several data layers:

  • on the one hand, the location of social organizations in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region (the data was provided by the FAS Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, Bagage’Rue, Alynea/Samu Social, Alpil, Secours Catholique, Fondation Abbé Pierre, Médecins du Monde Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Le Group’ESS)
  • on the other hand, the location and skills of humanitarian staff who had volunteered to give a hand (through an online form shared on the RUSH platform). In order to build this layer, the profiles had to be classified by category of skills: Water, Hygiene & Sanitation, Social & Disability, Health, Logistics & Security, and Coordination.

“It was a real pleasure to carry out this volunteer mission! In direct contact with the partners, we were able to constantly readjust the design of the map according to the data that came little by little and the needs that were also evolving. I now hope that this tool will meet expectations by really helping emergency host centers get in touch with humanitarian workers stranded in France, whose skills are precious in such a context”. (Fabien, volunteer at CartONG)

Thank you to our volunteers who took up this challenge with great motivation, and who now working on maintaining the web map up to date.

“I enjoy supporting the creation of new uses for web-mapping applications: there are always new things to discover! Transforming data stored in spreadsheets into an interactive map always has a magical side that leads to new information management practices.” (Michel, volunteer at CartONG)

Some of the map (see image on the left) – the part that lists the social-focused organizations in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes (public data), can be seen here: http://u.osmfr.org/m/441871/


How are aid workers and local organizations connected?

The full map is, however, only accessible internally: containing personal data, it allows the RUSH team to put the organizations and humanitarian aid workers in touch with one another. The team receives the HR requests from the local organizations through its website. Thanks to the map, they can locate the entity and look for the humanitarian staff residing nearby, filtering based on their skills and also checking their availability (full-time, part-time, weekends only, etc.). The RUSH team is then able to the local organization with an aid worker matching their actual HR needs.

In Lyon, dozens of humanitarian staff (colored dots) have already offered their skills (in Water, Hygiene & Sanitation, Social & Disability, Health, Logistics & Safety, and Coordination). In the coming days, they will be put in touch with the local organizations (showing in grey and black) that have expressed a need for HR reinforcement.

Already a dozen matches made in a few days: the RUSH initiative welcomes this support!

The RUSH team has welcomed the creation of this new web map, which meets an urgent current need and helps facilitate that the best matches possible are made between the HR needs of local organizations and the available aid workers in their area.

“Thanks to this collaboration, we can now visualize on a simple tool – which was made in a record time by the way – 150 humanitarian and social professionals ready to give a helpful hand and 180 social organizations with all relevant contact and opening hours information. 10 matches have already been made thanks to the web map! Thanks to CartONG!” (Vanessa, Le Group’ESS)

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Are you a humanitarian or social action professional? You are available, live in the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region and wish to help emergency centers during the crisis? Do not hesitate to offer your help via the RUSH initiative website!