World For All

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Disaster-relief Volunteer Army (DVA) - Online set-up

I had written about some of the things that can be done earlier. But an equally important component can be an online connected group that can act in much more impactful manner rather than lots of people acting in quick-reaction to the disasters and (probably) not building up on the lessons learnt in the earlier disasters.

Some ideas regarding the online group:

1. There should be an online site bringing volunteers from across the world (every country - every zipcode kind!)

2. No advertising. And absolutely no money should be asked or accepted except by small close group - more of in-kind (server hosting, code dev., spending time developing content during the disaster, etc.) for the web-site - but then people should have the ability to do for each other (example, some volunteers funding the travel of a volunteer who wants to do physically be on-site to help by providing his skills to the affected population).

3. If it can become a world-famous site for the disaster - then volunteers can rush to the site to give/receive info on the disaster - or better still, I believe individuals run better sites/blogs/yahoogroups - but this site can be a good known first stop which provides pointers (I think that this will be better place for both the contributors and the readers!)

4. Over time volunteers can give/receive feedback (ebay style) - so that others can accordingly weigh/filter their suggestions

5. Website itself should be developed on inputs of the large volunteer community and should provide features prioritized by the volunteers

6. Volunteers should be able to provide ideas at the time of the crisis/disaster to best utilize available manpower/resources (Continuous feedback on the ideas (number of stars, etc.) can make sure the best ideas emerge at the top and catch everyone's attention!)

7. Website should provide info. on people missing/looking for (right now, lots of media and lots of blogs are doing it - but ideally one volunteer driven well-known site would be much more helpful)

8. Website can act as medium to bring volunteers together - some, who can give money, and some who can give time and some who can act as local facilitators, etc.

9.This kind of site can empower individuals to do a lot - in their own geographical areas, if required, and elsewhere if they want to.

10.It can provide a good forum to collect the lessons learnt by volunteers and will enable replication of the best relief/volunteer ideas from disaster to disaster.

11.Can help officials to get their point across (probably more than Media does) by effectively communicating to the volunteer forces.

12.Some volunteers can specialize and feel good about providing online coordination!

13.Will provide medium to lots of volunteers to do more in preparation of the relief work rather than actually feeling bad about the situation for few days after a disaster.


  • GiveWorld has set up a Rehabilitation Fund to support initiatives to help
    those affected by the disaster in South India, in association with GiveIndia
    and ICICIcommunities . 100% of the funds raised for this purpose will be
    disbursed for relief and rehabilitation of the victims and donors will be
    provided feedback. The GiveWorld website also provides latest updates on all
    relief activities.

    GiveWorld is partnering with 10 non-profit organizations working on the
    field. To know more about these organizations and how they are assisting the
    victims please visit

    To donate online, please visit if in
    the US or if you are
    located in India.

    Yours in Giving

    By Blogger subhashini, at January 4, 2005 at 3:08 PM  

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