The Standby Task Force activated on August 20th, 2014 for a deployment with NetHope providing baseline data collection and communication coordination support to responding organizations on the ground and officially stepped down from engagement on Phase I of this activation as of Wednesday September 10th, 2014. Though the response to the Ebola outbreak is by no means over, the needs of our partners on the ground have evolved. We are currently preparing for Phase II of this deployment and will provide an update to our membership on Wednesday September 24th, 2014 about the nature of our engagement moving forward.
This most recent and severe epidemic began in Guecjedou, Guinea in December 2013 and was identified as Ebola in March of 2014. In July of 2014 the magnitude of the outbreak became clear as containment continued to elude humanitarian and medical responders. On August 12th, 2014 the SBTF received an activation request from NetHope to collect and synthesize situational information as coordinated response efforts got under way. The 15 member organizations of NetHope responding to the epidemic required assistance in centralizing their collective data stores and transforming this information into common operational maps to be hosted in the open geospatial repository. The product of our combined efforts is available to the public here: http://ohdr.nethope.opendata.arcgis.com/.
We are happy to note that we were able to contribute information and resources to organizations responding formally in country and volunteer collaborative efforts online. In addition, this activation provides promising lessons on coordinating communications between these two disparate but connected effectors in future collaborations. Though the SBTF will no longer be updating their datasets for Phase I there are a number of individual members still engaged in different tasks to support the ongoing humanitarian response. All datasets in acceptable format for the public domain are hosted on the NetHope site. The underlying sketches and active internal Google sheets have been closed and are currently being archived. We would like to thank all of the volunteers who contributed to Phase I of this project. Our work has been recognized and is providing direct support to the relief efforts on the ground. We are pleased to announce that we will now shift the focus of our engagement as we enter Phase II of this deployment. More information to follow soon, stay tuned.