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close this bookEmergency 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.)
close this folderPart 1: Information management systems
close this folderData gathering and emergency management
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentEstablishing the baseline
View the documentQuantitative vs. qualitative methods of data gathering
View the documentThe need for an “inter-agency” approach
View the documentHardware and software tools for data-gathering

The need for an “inter-agency” approach

The disaster response community has a responsibility to ensure that critical needs are not overlooked.

Organizational mandates understandably push field workers involved in data-gathering to focus on those needs which are likely to be served by the resources of the organization. The result of this “mandate bias” can be a set of data which fulfill the organization’s needs, but may in fact wholly neglect critical areas of the affected populations’ needs.

The disaster response community has a responsibility to ensure that such critical needs are not overlooked. The formation of joint or “inter-agency” assessment, monitoring and evaluation teams can increase the probability that the critical needs of the population are covered. Ideally, the inter-agency data-gathering team:

· is inter-disciplinary in composition;

· is balanced from the viewpoint of gender and (if appropriate to the particular disaster situation) of ethnicity, religion, or other social division which might affect the team’s access to various members of the affected population;

· has members who speak the language of the affected population, of the local authorities, and of any factions who could pose constraints to the data-gathering process.