Castries, Saint Lucia: Since September 2021 when contracts for implementation were signed, NEMO’s Disaster Information Management System (DIMS) has moved from a concept on paper to the first iteration of a developed digital system.
Development of the DIMS is about 60 percent complete and the system is ready for initial testing of the core applications, including the NEMO Contact Management Application, Volunteer Management Application, Capacity Building/Training Application and Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) Application.
The DIMS development process started with active engagement among the DIMS Developer, Quality Assurance/Quality Control Consultant, NEMO Secretariat and DVRP team to determine the detailed requirements for the DIMS, including the various business cases (administrative functions, operational activities and decision-making processes) within NEMO that the DIMS needs to support. These consultations resulted in the DIMS Requirements Report from which the DIMS Design Report was produced.
The DIMS Requirements Report explored a range of software options for development of the system, including subscription-based propriety software and free, open-source software. This analysis determined that the free, open-source Sahana Eden platform would best satisfy the DIMS requirements and offer the most sustainable approach. Sahana Eden is the leading open-source software for disaster management with deployments in over 60 locations around the world.
The report also suggested the best deployment environment to ensure the system remains secure and available during disaster events.
The Design Report then determined the detailed design of the various applications of the DIMS within the Sahana Eden platform and the required customizations to the platform to meet all DIMS requirements.
Following determination of the detailed requirements and system design, development of the DIMS using the Sahana Eden platform commenced in earnest in April 2022. An agile/lean development approach is being utilized for the DIMS. This approach to System development allows NEMO to be actively engaged in the development process with the opportunity to test and give feedback on the DIMS at key milestones of development, which in turn will help to ensure the DIMS best meets the organisation’s needs.
Initial testing of the DIMS is scheduled for late July into mid August 2022. Final development of the DIMS is expected later this year. The information in the DIMS will be leveraged by NEMO for multiple disaster planning and response applications such as:
- Enhancing communication within NEMO during and outside of disaster events
- Identifying the best person(s) to respond to a particular event
- Identifying capacity gaps and developing training and recruitment plans
- Enhancing placement of resource persons within the NEMO system based on qualifications and capacities
- Understanding transportation and other support needs for NEMO volunteers
- Determining the most suitable suppliers to meet specific needs post disaster based on defined criteria
- Maximizing assignment, management and leveraging of private and public sector partners in a disaster context
- Determining gaps in Memoranda of Understanding
- Identifying strategic areas requiring greater collaboration/partnership.