An Open Invitation: NetHope and the Open Humanitarian Initiative

An Open Invitation: NetHope and the Open Humanitarian Initiative

Posted on April 24, 2013 by The Patterson Foundation

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

What would Einstein say today with the advent of the Internet and explosion of mobile devices, even in Third World nations? This is an apparent paraphrase of an Einstein quote, so why not completely twist the premise? Isn't one of the biggest challenges we face today how we use technology to demonstrate our humanity?

Whenever disaster strikes — a hurricane, earthquake, flood, tornado — thanks to technology, we're plugged into more information than ever. Yet, all too often, actionable information that's really needed- information that helps in delivering medical aid to the injured and getting food and water to thirsty and hungry people isn't available to those on the ground. The ability to capture, distill and share information is the answer to more effective decision making and life-saving disaster response.

That's where NetHope, a collaborative that enables NGOs to better serve developing countries through smart use of technology, plays an important role in the disaster response community. With support from The Patterson Foundation, in addition to support from technology leaders such as Cisco, Microsoft, and Accenture, NetHope is spearheading the Open Humanitarian Initiative.

One Big, Not-So-Easy Project

The Open Humanitarian Initiative (OHI) is a broad-ranging initiative to improve information sharing and information management among humanitarian organizations, affected communities and governments in disaster-prone countries. OHI will build on existing open data efforts underway, and it will bring together all of the different actors in the humanitarian response system including donors, NGOs, government agencies, research organizations, companies from the private sector and the digital volunteer community to do so.

OHI is a huge collaborative effort involving numerous stakeholders and entities. To truly impact information sharing and management during disaster response means bringing together a number of governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations, academic research organizations, private entities and donors over many years. The anticipated investment to realize this project is $15 million–$20 million. CISCO is funding the initial incubator phase that will explore "why" and "how" all the entities should work together.

Partners Invited

In times of disaster, the natural response of many people is, "How can I help support the aid effort?"  The Open Humanitarian Initiative offers more than a chance to help. OHI seeks innovative, collaborative corporate social responsibility partners where co-creation is the new partnership.

When you partner in OHI, you connect, collaborate, and innovate alongside technology leaders such as Microsoft, CISCO, HP, and Intel. You co-create a new, better way to help deliver information and save lives during disasters.

The Business4Better Movement

“Corporate responsibility can’t be just about writing a check. Today, it’s got to be about finding a way to connect, to bring communities together to make the company engage in the biggest sense possible with all of its stakeholders.”

This quote from UBM CEO David Levin is the mantra of B4B. NetHope and the Open Humanitarian Initiative personify a big cause that provides your business with a way to connect and join the global community in a very large sense of purpose for all your stakeholders- your employees, your customers, your vendors, your shareholders.

Let's connect, collaborate, and innovate and bring new meaning to Einstein's "quote."

If you’re attending the B4B Conference May 1-2 in Anaheim, we invite you to visit NetHope in Booth 618 during the Business4Better Expo. Explore the advantages that partnerships with NetHope and the Open Humanitarian Initiative offer for corporate social responsibility initiatives.

For conference updates, connect with us on Twitter: @NetHope_Org, @ThePattersonFdn  and #biz4better

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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