One of the most important aspects often not given enough attention after a disaster is how technology can be used to build our capacity to do to good. After the devastating earthquakes in Nepal this year, there was a great need to find creative ways to better provide for those in need and make information more inclusive and accessible.
This summer, four members of the Google Disaster Corps traveled to Kathmandu to spend two weeks partnering with Accountability Lab and Local Interventions Group to enhance data management in their earthquake relief project, Mobile Citizen Helpdesk. The Google team consisted of a senior systems administrator, an industry analyst, a product marketing manager, and a senior YouTube policy strategist.
During their time in Nepal, they worked tirelessly to strengthen the project’s data and surveys, design the #quakehelpdesk website, improve Accountability Lab’s overall online presence, host a filmmaking workshop, and find creative ways to share all the work happening in Nepal. Read about each of their experiences below:
Jordan: “Google selected Accountability Lab as a partner for their Google Disaster Corps project and I was fortunate to work with them in Kathmandu, Nepal for two weeks. I helped optimize Accountability Lab’s web presence across the world and ensure that they’re tracking the right metrics to achieve their goals as an NGO. Accountability Lab has incredible reach across remote areas and is working to bridge the gap between resources and individuals in need. The experience was especially rewarding when we went out into Nepal’s countryside and got to meet the people benefitting from this work. Thank you for showing us your beautiful country and people!”
Ali: “In 12 days with Accountability Lab I created recommendations for impact assessments, optimized AL YouTube presence, collaborated on data analysis, and organized and hosted a Filmmaking for YouTube event at Islington College. The Filmmaking for YouTube event was definitely a big highlight for me. Over 100 people attended and participants formed teams to create videos about accountability, integrity, and dreams for Nepal. Check out the winning video! It’s been such an honor and a learning experience to spend this time in Nepal working alongside such inspirational people. Thank you for everything!”
Paul: “Working with Accountability Lab and Local Interventions Group for the past 2 weeks has been an extremely rewarding experience. My primary focus was to analyze, look for correlations and report on the first large scale survey collection effort in the 13 earthquake affected districts in Nepal. With survey data collected by Mobile Citizen Helpdesks and Nepal Scouts Together volunteers, we’ve put together the first published report to UN OCHA detailing sentiment in those affected districts. With this data and the outcomes it produces, we’re helping Nepal rise.”
Jonas: “Over the course of two weeks working with Accountability Lab I worked on streamlining the data management. AL does an amazing job surveying citizens in the field so I worked to make sure they have a sustainable and scalable way to process and analyze all the data. Successfully building this data solution was a lot of fun for me. Another highlight for me was our day trip to visit Kavre.”
Overall, we feel incredibly honored to have worked so closely with such an open, talented, and passionate group from the Google Disaster Corps. In the time spent with the Google team, lasting relationships were formed. Google has remarkable abilities and technology to help in disaster scenarios, and they have helped transform our earthquake relief efforts in many ways. Their support and attention provided ways for Accountability Lab and Local Interventions Group to more effectively and efficiently achieve their mission and commitment to greater transparency and accountability for all.