|Emergency Information Management and Telecommunications - 1st Edition (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - Disaster Management Training Programme - United Nations Development Programme , 1997, 62 p.)|
Purpose and scope
This training module, Emergency Information Management and Telecommunications is designed to introduce two essential aspects of disaster management to an audience of UN organization professionals who form disaster management teams, as well as to government counterpart agencies, NGOs, and donors. This training is designed to increase the audiences awareness of the nature and management of disasters - and particularly the emergency phase - leading to a better performance in disaster preparedness and response.
By highlighting fundamental aspects of information management and telecommunications with regard to emergency management, we hope to provide an orientation and starting point for the review and enhancement of your own agencys existing systems. Our intent is to suggest feasible measures that can improve emergency preparedness. Such measures do not inexorably require the acquisition of more expensive, more sophisticated technology, although, to be sure, such enhancements can be of much benefit to readiness given proper conditions of use, personnel, and training. While some of these technologies are, in fact, covered in this module, our primary focus is on basic policies and procedures of good emergency information management and telecommunications which can raise the level of emergency preparedness - without the tremendous costs necessarily required by acquisition of state of the art technology.
The primary objective of an emergency information system is to improve the capacity of decision-makers to take needed action. Effective information management and telecommunications systems are key. It should be noted from the outset, however, that these are two very different aspects of the emergency management:
Emergency information management - defined as the collection, consolidation, analysis and dissemination of the information - requires that the emergency manager be fully cognizant of the needs of the eventual users of the information. Effective emergency information management requires concerted planning, organizing, controlling, and influencing of human, material, and information resources to ensure that information is disseminated to the right decision-makers at the right time to satisfy those needs.
Telecommunications, on the other hand, is defined as the equipment and networks used to transport information from point to point. These include terrestrial and satellite-based systems, public and private networks, as well as the policies and procedures developed to run those various systems and networks. Emergency managers must be sufficiently knowledgeable of the various telecommunications system options to know when it is time to consult a telecommunications expert.
This module, then, is intended to highlight the key knowledge, responsibilities, and tasks which can enable emergency managers to make informed decisions about the information system they manage, and the type of telecommunications system which is most appropriate to their particular needs.
In Part 1 of this module, we present the essential concepts of an information management system designed to serve the needs of emergency managers.
In Part 2, we present the essential concepts of emergency telecommunications to provide managers with a basic understanding of the various system options open to them, and to ensure they are able to define and describe their own particular telecommunications needs.
In Part 3, we provide emergency managers with checklists in matrix format as a starting point for the review and analysis of their own information management and telecommunications systems.
This module is intended for two audiences, the self-study learner and the participant in a training workshop. The following training methods are planned for use in workshops and are simulated in the accompanying training guide. For the self-study learner the text is as close to a tutor as can be managed in print.
Workshop training methods include:
· group discussions
· simulations/role plays
· supplementary handouts
· review sessions
· self-assessment exercises
The self study learner is invited to use this text as a workbook. In addition to note taking in the margins, you will be given the opportunity to stop and examine your learning along the way through questions included in the text. Write down your answers to these questions before proceeding to ensure that you have captured key points of the text.