How can Internet Governance Impact Disaster Preparedness and Response and Help Save Lives? Access Partnership

29 September 2011 - A Workshop on Other in Nairobi, Kenya


Recent natural and man-made disasters have clearly demonstrated the importance of ICTs for connecting relief workers, coordinating response operations, and keeping citizens informed. An increasing number of innovative internet based applications and cloud services have been developed or implemented to facilitate disaster response and recovery efforts, such as helping to locate victims during search and rescue operations. Enabling internet connectivity and restoring networks to ensure continuity of communications following a disaster can mean the difference of lives.
Given the often disproportionate impact of disasters on developing countries, it is critical that disaster preparedness be taken into account when addressing access, infrastructure development and internet governance, with focus on the specific needs of developing countries. When considering infrastructure development plans, what steps can be taken to ensure resiliency or redundancy of critical infrastructures following a disaster? What impact can internet governance have on the ability of relief workers, public safety officials, and citizens to communicate and gain access to critical information following a disaster? What internet applications are being used for disaster response? Do those applications and other communications systems take account of the specialized needs of persons with disabilities, those in rural or remote areas, or those who may be illiterate? How can the increased spread of mobile devices in developing countries help with disaster preparedness and response?
This workshop will explore the connection between disaster preparedness and internet governance, including a discussion of the role the internet and internet based applications play in disaster response and recovery operations and steps that can be taken to ensure continuity of operations following a disaster.

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