Ignite Talk: David Stevens

This is a liveblog post from the International Conference on Crisis Mapping at Tufts University.  You can also follow tweets from the event’s many open laptops at the #ICCM10 hashtag.

David Stevens works at the UN Spider Program.

Stevens starts by asking how we can take the Haiti model beyond Haiti to other countries and disasters.

“How can we ensure that every disaster receives all available support?”  He notes that the UN Spider program’s goal is to ensure just that.

The program’s mission statement is to:

ensure that all countries and international and regional organizations have access to space-based information and services relevant to disaster management by being a gateway to space information for disaster management support; serving as a bridge to connect the disaster management and space communities; and being a facilitator of capacity-building and institutional strengthening.

Stevens notes that the project works with regional support offices on very specific activities.

One activity, he explains, is technical advisory support.  They’re currently working with 23 countries.  He states that the SpaceAid Framework is open to requests, and in 2010 provided aid to 24 emergencies.

“We’ve never actually produced a map,” Stevens says, “we’re a facilitator.”

In Chile, Stevens says, they were able to trigger their mechanisms in 5 hours, because they knew people on the ground.

Their knowledge portal ( provides a wealth of information.  They’re working on community building in a number of regions.

To conclude, Stevens asks “how can we build upon the Crisis Mapper community?”

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