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Kathmandu data initiative aids earthquake response

Since an earthquake devastated Kathmandu, Nepal in April, a nonprofit has been aiding the relief effort by mapping the locations of schools, hospitals and other critical sites. (Jake Lyell/Catholic Relief Services)

The devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in April leveled buildings, obstructed roads and cut off communities. Kathmandu Living Labs, a Nepali nonprofit, is aiding the humanitarian relief by mapping the locations of schools, hospitals and other critical sites, Shadrock Roberts writes for the Rockefeller Foundation.

The nonprofit is engaged in a wide range of digital endeavors. The lab collects data on the vulnerability of buildings to earthquakes. The information is helpful in determining which facilities must be retrofitted to withstand tremors. It’s mapping the locations of public toilets by “leveraging citizens’ local knowledge” and developing mobile apps that facilitate interaction between the municipal government and residents. More about these and other initiatives is here.

Created with support from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, Living Labs also has teamed with the U. S. Agency for International Development on projects, the article says. Roberts is director of the Resilience Network Initiative at Ushahidi, another open data platform. Ushahidi is partnering with the city of Semarang, Indonesia, a participant in the foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program, on community engagement with city government.

(Disclosure: the Rockefeller Foundation is a lead funder of Citiscope.)

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