Humanitarian OSM Team/Working groups/Activation/meeting 2014-09-09

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Meeting on Tue September 9th 2014 to discuss HOT activation. Lasted 2 hours 30 minutes.

The specific Hackpad is still the live shared document for the Working Group to exchange ideas.


To be added.

Action points

  • To be added.

Previously the AWG meeting should occur monthly every 2nd Tuesday. The next one would then be October 14th, 2014 2PM UTC.
Discussion was made about making the AWG meeting weekly for a much shorter period of time. The next meeting date was not determined, but I think would default to the Oct. 14th date if nothing is agreed upon otherwise before that time.

IRC log

10:03 sev_hotosm: Hi
10:03 Tallguy: Hi
10:03 michael63: Hi Severin
10:03 sev_hotosm: sorry I may have some disconnections
10:04 sev_hotosm: so
10:04 sev_hotosm: Did you already start the AWG meeting?
10:04 michael63: nothing happened so far
10:04 Tallguy: No, I was about to post links to the previous
10:04 sev_hotosm:
10:05 sev_hotosm: here it is :)
10:05 sev_hotosm: I will have another meeting starting at 3PM UTC but obviously you can continue without me
10:05 russdeffner: I am here for the meeting, but have a few other obligations this morning (for me), so will follow along as able
10:06 sev_hotosm: here are the TORs we drafted last time
10:06 sev_hotosm:
10:06 sev_hotosm: unfortunately we did not get any feedback, if I am not wrong
10:07 sev_hotosm: Do TORs have been already validated in other WG?
10:07 sev_hotosm: *others
10:08 russdeffner: As far as I know, all the TORs are still being drafted
10:09 bgirardot: I was going to sit in just to learn more aobut the whole activation process.
10:10 sev_hotosm: russdeffner I think so, will confirm with the other facilitators
10:11 sev_hotosm: bgirardot actually we do not teach here about the activation process
10:11 sev_hotosm: setting a document about the activation process is actually one of the aims
10:12 bgirardot: Oh, I know, I just figure I can't help but learn something listening and reading the docs you work on.
10:12 sev_hotosm: as so far it is done by experienced activators, it runs sommothly but would be good to have such a document for the general understanding and make other people able to activate
10:13 sev_hotosm: bgirardot actually you can, by reviewing the docs and giving your opinion, having fresher eyes is really helpful
10:13 russdeffner: I brought forward an idea at Sunday's Training WG meeting that we might want to set up a certification/training program for coordinators...
10:14 russdeffner: we had been throwing around badge/certificate ideas, and I think this would be a good first theme
10:14 sev_hotosm: I do not know if it is a first one, as it may be difficult to find activators to validate this
10:15 sev_hotosm: we have ben discussing about activaiton reviiews for years, and this certification would be a kind of validation if I am not wrong
10:15 russdeffner: thinking that an existing coordinator would have to check-off/verify that a 'trainee' has completed/accomplished specific tasks in order to become a coordinator
10:16 sev_hotosm: your idea is to validate new activators after a first experience or to strat a course about activation?
10:16 russdeffner: sev_hotosm - yes, this would make it so we could 'define' who can 'activate' our resources
10:16 sev_hotosm: russdeffner actually this is why I proposed this as part of the CAR activation and Amadou joined to co-coordinate
10:17 russdeffner: my idea was to model it after firefighter 'task books', so to be an incident commander you must first have your task book complete
10:18 Tallguy: very similar to schemes in the UK for emergency services supervisors - incident commander
10:18 sev_hotosm: your inputs and experience on this field would help a lot, as activation with OSM are clearly without any frame
10:18 russdeffner: I think it is more tangible and important than any badges, etc. for mappers
10:19 russdeffner: we can get to those also, but first I think we need to boost our coordinator numbers
10:19 sev_hotosm: what actually make their success but limit their replication, so if you could provide what could be a task book for HOT activations would be great
10:20 russdeffner: Sure, I would first just want to brainstorm with you, Andy, Pierre and others who have run these very involved activations, to come up with a list of things a coordinator needs to know
10:20 sev_hotosm: we may need the 2, for those who only want to contribute and for those who would be interested to get more responsabilities
10:21 russdeffner: Then if someone is interested in running an activation, we get them a 'task book' - thinking we could just do a cloud based spreadsheet...
10:21 sev_hotosm: OK, let us create a list in the Activation WG pad then for this
10:21 sev_hotosm:
10:23 sev_hotosm: activation is also linking with humanitarian orgs and partners, and actually you need to have a bit of experience on how they work, etc
10:24 russdeffner: Ok, I also want to keep the training WG in the loop - maybe this WG has other things you want to focus on, and the TWG could handle some of this?
10:24 sev_hotosm: this is why the idea of starting as co-activator is good
10:25 sev_hotosm: can also help to figure out if the newcomer is able to do this. Eg not fighting with the partners :)
10:25 russdeffner: yes and yes - it would be great if in the future it was a 'certified' coordinator and a trainee running each activation
10:25 sev_hotosm: would be good to know who would be interested
10:25 sev_hotosm: I already asked sometimes for such "positions" but did not get many answers
10:26 sev_hotosm: only Mark and Amadou
10:26 sev_hotosm: short online survey for whoever is connected and reading: would you be interested personnally?
10:27 Tallguy: possibly - it needs more than 2 so that the load can be spread in the event of a long activation - don't know how the guys are managing with the Ebola one!
10:27 sev_hotosm: you included russdeffner, but you already have been in Colorado
10:28 bgirardot: I'd always be glad to help with an activiation for the online portion of its management.
10:28 russdeffner: I would actually enjoy having one of our more experienced coordinators go over with me a more comprehensive 'training'
10:28 michael63: interested possibly, depends on the time involved: I am employed full time and can only contribute during my spare time
10:29 Tallguy: My main thought at the moment is - 'what does it involve?' I get the impression I see the tip of an iceberg but don't know how bit it is
10:29 russdeffner: the nice thing about the 'task book' would be that it could be done at different paces
10:30 bgirardot: Ya, as Tallguy said, it seems like a large process that the online portion is only part of, all the back and forth with the groups
10:31 russdeffner: I think it would be pretty involved, but that is to ensure that the folks we have working independantly with our partners have been throw the ropes
10:31 russdeffner: *through
10:31 bgirardot: And maybe they could hand off some of the simpler management of the online part to someone else
10:32 Tallguy: Certainly if there is a checklist, task book or series of prompts it can make any task a lot easier to manage
10:32 sev_hotosm: michael63 yes this is actually the case for all of us, no problem
10:32 Tallguy: We're referring to 'book' but it would be good to have something online so another admin could help in the event of a problem such as health emergency
10:33 sev_hotosm: just for info, if anyone has a doubt, there is nobody whose duty work is running activations, it is purely on a voluntary base
10:33 sev_hotosm: *basis
10:34 bgirardot: Really? HOT doesn't actually employ anyone to coordinate some of that?
10:34 russdeffner: I guess my whole idea was so that we have a much better picture of who actually is capable of handling an activation, right now it's basically just a handful of 'long-timers'
10:34 sev_hotosm: regarding task book, this is why we are testing Trello
10:35 Tallguy: I've been using trello with the Missing Maps Project - it's only as good as the person controlling it - you need someone to actually manage it
10:35 sev_hotosm: russdeffner but this also can lead to having more people involved in an activation, maybe focusing in various tasks consdiering own interest and skills
10:36 sev_hotosm: basically you need to:
10:36 russdeffner: sev_hotosm - oh, on that note, I set up my Trello account with my @hotosm email and I guess I was invited to the group with my @gmail account and cannot access it; can you re-invite me?
10:37 sev_hotosm: find AOIs through monitoring humanitarian info (reports, maps) and contacting people from these orgs we know
10:37 sev_hotosm: creating TM jobs, promoting them
10:37 sev_hotosm: map, validate
10:38 sev_hotosm: continue the monitoring, create overviews and tracks through uMaps and the OSM wiki
10:40 sev_hotosm: russdeffner done
10:40 russdeffner: thanks
10:41 sev_hotosm: if some of you are interested, there is need for help for South Sudan Activation
10:43 sev_hotosm: that is actually a big crisis, but not much focus from the medias
10:44 Tallguy: Is this principally #591 Cholera?
10:46 sev_hotosm: Juba is a big piece of cake but there are other places in the country in bad situation
10:46 sev_hotosm: eg flooded IDP camps
10:46 sev_hotosm: are there people interested to monitor the maps provided by the humanitarian orgs
10:47 sev_hotosm: to improve the road network
10:47 sanderd17: Wasn't there also some civil war in South-Sudan? (Didn't follow any of that news though)
10:48 sev_hotosm: we may also partner with orther groups like GISCorps and generally they need a HOT-OSM contact for technical advice
10:48 sev_hotosm: sander17 yes
10:48 sev_hotosm: political one turned into ethnic ones by the involved politicians
10:50 bgirardot: What sort of help do you mean?
10:50 sev_hotosm: what I mean is that there are a lot of tasks in an acitvation and splitting them would alleviate the few current activators, making us nore reactive and allow to raise experiences
10:50 bgirardot: Doing the task help, or running the activation help I mean to ask.
10:50 bgirardot: Oh I see.
10:52 Tallguy: I'm getting spread very thin, but could I promote this through Missing Maps Project (at the moment mainly MSF & Red Cross)? I sent an email about a 'training / coaching' task in an area'
10:52 Tallguy: & an area here could / maybe of help?
10:53 sev_hotosm: Tallguy would need to find one smaller than Juba I guess
10:54 sev_hotosm: Juba has WOrldview2 imagery with a bit of offset so it may not be the easiest one for newcomers
10:54 Tallguy: At the last session we trained about 70 people - 4 small squares each is my need. They seem happy with what our HOT trainers are delivering & trying for bigger mapathons!
10:55 bgirardot: Do projects ever overlap areas?
10:55 Tallguy: I'm learning iD - you can use an offset there but I'm not an expert. I'm hoping to wean some onto JOSm which I find easier!
10:55 sev_hotosm: they map with iD ?
10:56 bgirardot: I mean geographical areas. Like one project would be mapping roads, and one outlining buildings, just for example, but the same geographic area
10:56 sev_hotosm: not easy for ofsset indeed
10:56 sev_hotosm: and if ever they create conflicts they lose everything
10:56 AndrewBuck: almost all the mapping parties teach iD because josm is harder to set up on lots of people's computers.
10:57 Tallguy: sev_hotosm iD worked well for a first session - now we move them onto JOSM - AndrewBuck - you have it iin one
10:57 sev_hotosm: AndrewBuck Ah OK, personally I never run mapping parties with iD but people experiement OSM differently
10:58 sev_hotosm: Tallguy OK let us discuss about an AOI please send me an email as a reminder
10:58 AndrewBuck: Yeah, I have never run one myself but I suggested starting in iD and then moving to josm to someone running one and they basically said they wouldn't even consider it for more tech savvy people because it was just too hard to manage.
10:59 sev_hotosm: @All interested or not for testing a multi tasking in an Activation? I can create a Trello for South Sudan and ou tell me if you feel intrested or not?
11:00 sev_hotosm: AndrewBuck when I have time in raining I make the first edit with iD then I switch to JOSM
11:00 Tallguy: As long as you don't mind me asking questions - lot of this will be alien to me!
11:00 sev_hotosm: *in training
11:00 sev_hotosm: otherwise, we discussed about we should have more meetings
11:00 sev_hotosm: training will have one every two weeks, activation would deserve once a week
11:01 sev_hotosm: might be two different slots so that people can find the one they can join
11:01 bgirardot: Ya, I am glad to help with testing multi tasking in an Activation, but I will have to ask questions too.
11:01 sev_hotosm: bgirardot sure, plese do
11:02 sev_hotosm: I personally have to join the HOT Board meeting on Mumble, I can put a few lines more during it, would be great to have your inputs regarding frequency
11:03 bgirardot: So sign up for trello is the first step sev_hotosm?
11:03 sev_hotosm: bgirardot yes please
11:04 AndrewBuck: sev_hotosm: schyler was just in, he said he had the wrong day and went back to bed
11:05 Tallguy: bgirardot - overlap question earlier - from what I've seen, not intentionally because you get problems with clashes - iD can't cope and JOSM throws error messages about conflicts
11:06 sev_hotosm: AndrewBuck for what meeting:
11:06 AndrewBuck: hot board
11:08 bgirardot: I see. ty tallguy
11:08 sev_hotosm: OK so I have more time than I thought :)
11:13 Tallguy: sev_hotosm - see my email to general HOT about a training task. My problem is that the next Missing Maps Mapathon likely to be 30/09/14 & I would like a task with small squares ready for that.
11:13 Tallguy: may not be time to get it through the Training WG & updated onto TM?
11:13 sev_hotosm: small squares like the one for JUba or smaller?
11:14 Tallguy: looking now
11:15 bgirardot: sev: I got the trello account, what next?
11:15 Tallguy: Smaller I think. If they can complete in 15 minutes & get feedback very quickly, they don't have time to learn bad habits
11:15 AndrewBuck: Tallguy: if you are interested in leading something, we have also done in the past a mentor program. We had one person do that and it worked well, the two of you could co-lead the activation you propose with some help from someone else more experienced.
11:16 sev_hotosm: bgirardot and others give me your account name please so that I can invite you to the AWG board
11:16 bgirardot: I think it is blakegirardot
11:17 sev_hotosm: gotcha
11:17 bgirardot: got it
11:17 Tallguy: I'm mainly interested in the training / coaching / validating side - but that seems to be a large part of it!
11:17 sev_hotosm: This AWG board is only for the AWG tasks
11:17 sev_hotosm: not for a crisis activation
11:17 sev_hotosm: but give you an ideau how it works
11:18 bgirardot: Aye, ty
11:19 sev_hotosm: you can see eg there is a doing taks regarding a Crisi monitoring team
11:19 sev_hotosm: I sent an email about this
11:20 sev_hotosm: Mark answered about a great RSS tool you have AndrewBuck
11:20 sev_hotosm: did not test it yet
11:20 sev_hotosm: I usually start with reliefweb and complement with other medias
11:20 bgirardot: I see. Interesting
11:23 bgirardot: Sorry, just ignore me when you have something else to do/going on. Re: Trello and that task. Could you enter you sent the email and the rss feed you were informed about to that card? Would you?
11:23 AndrewBuck: sev_hotosm: It is a yahoo pipes rss feed that monitors the bbc for stories with 'flood' 'earthquake' 'militants' etc in the description. Is that what you are referring to?
11:23 sev_hotosm: I think yes this is what Mark mentionned
11:24 sev_hotosm: do you monitor reliefweb and especially the maps from the hum orgs?
11:24 AndrewBuck: no, yahoo pipes lets you pull together a bunch of rss feeds though and filter/combine them using a graphical tool.
11:24 AndrewBuck: I would share the link but it seems to be down right now.
11:26 sev_hotosm: for those who do not know about it pipes all the hum info
11:26 sev_hotosm: on top of the header a ranking of the crisis based on the number of reports of map within he last seven days
11:27 sev_hotosm: does not mean this totally = crisis importance
11:27 sev_hotosm: frequently after a first media boodst, more reports then it slightly decreases
11:28 sev_hotosm: even if the needs on the field remain huge or even increase
11:29 sev_hotosm: eg for South Sudan, the page:
11:31 sev_hotosm: but this present the reports and for us reports are usually not precise enough regarding geography to be totally useful: they are if it about to indentify a place, but not for somewhere within an area (eg figures for an admin level is not super useful for mapping)
11:31 sev_hotosm: shows the maps and infographics
11:34 sev_hotosm: man are not super useful for us as they present facts to a a large admin level
11:35 sev_hotosm: Eg:
11:35 sev_hotosm: but this one is interesting:
11:35 sev_hotosm: it basically provides AOIs
11:36 sev_hotosm: bgirardot do you see the point?
11:36 bgirardot: I do
11:37 sev_hotosm: this one also, providing refugee camps:
11:38 Tallguy: What's the criteria for the urgent / high / etc grading - is there some internal discussion
11:38 sev_hotosm: we do not have the imagery to map these new camps but we can map the area and the roads that access to it
11:39 sev_hotosm: Tallguy actually there is no discussion
11:46 sev_hotosm: but nost of tme during crisis we put high
11:46 sev_hotosm: and urgent for only a few cases
11:48 sev_hotosm: AndrewBuck what is your crieria?
11:48 sev_hotosm: *criteria
11:49 AndrewBuck: For an activation we discuss internally in the coordinators skype chat along with other groups like MSF, WHO, RC, etc, to determine the priorities.
11:49 AndrewBuck: This is how we decide what jobs to make and of those jobs which ones are highest priority.
11:50 AndrewBuck: It depends on the specific crisis though, too. Every one is different so a new method is found each time to determine priority.
11:51 AndrewBuck: It is usually based on the intersection of need and ability to satisfy that though. Often the priority areas we get from them don't have imagery, or other constrainsts like that exist so we go with the highest priority we can satisfy quickly enough to matter.
11:57 sev_hotosm: for the CAR Activation it is different in the sense it was not a focus from the humanitarian orgs
11:57 sev_hotosm: so we mapped and connected with them so that the see the potential of it
11:58 sev_hotosm: but in this case I never created a lot of tasks in the same time, only one by one according to the most critical areas
11:59 sev_hotosm: and focusing also to make the whole thing consolidated
11:59 sev_hotosm: complete the road network
11:59 sev_hotosm: the largest cities and towns (all affected anyway)
12:01 bgirardot: With the difficulty of no overlapping projects, that would point toward smaller more focused projects. Perhaps even dividing up areas for the same purpose. Monrovia West - Buildings, Monrovia East - Buildings type of thing
12:07 Tallguy: Sorry, I have to leave shortly - can keep checking back for messages for a few minutes, but ......
12:10 sev_hotosm: I will also have to leave. My intention explaining the monitoring was to show there is nothing complicated and that anybody can help
12:10 sev_hotosm: will ask the ot community to review the TORs
12:11 sev_hotosm: create a Trello for SOuth Sudan and if you are interested pick up a task
12:12 Tallguy: ok
12:12 sev_hotosm: AndrewBuck is there a way contributors could help with some specific tasks?
12:12 sev_hotosm: that are not TM tasks or specific channels with partners?
12:14 AndrewBuck: sev_hotosm: we do need better systems or things like this, the tm is good but not everything can be handled in that way.
12:14 sev_hotosm: would it be possible to have a very short weekly report with bullet points stating first what has been done, secondly the issues you have and three the next steps
12:14 sev_hotosm: so that contributors can jump if they feel they are interested/can do something?
12:19 bgirardot: sev: Do you want this transcript on the wiki? I was going to do it for the last training wg meeting anyway, I can probably do these at the same time.
12:19 bgirardot: Oh I should mention, the wiki seems to hate me and URLs so I might have to strip those to be added later
12:20 sev_hotosm: what about having weekly meetings?
12:20 sev_hotosm: once a month for Activations does not make sense
12:20 sev_hotosm: we need to make the documentation and knowledge progress
12:21 sev_hotosm: bgirardot yes please, you can see the template from the previsou report, with both a summary and the log
12:21 sev_hotosm: you can find the logs here:
12:21 bgirardot: Ok cool.
12:22 sev_hotosm: so when does happen the next AWG meeting?
12:25 Tallguy: I'm happy with same time each week - should manage most
12:26 Tallguy: I'll check the log later if you end up with a different time / date - also Trello
12:27 michael63: A weekly meeting which spreads over more than 2 hours on IRC is a challenge. It would be easier if we could switch to some more effective means like mumble/skype. Apart from that Tuesday is fine for me - I am working from my home on that day and can flexibly take time off.
12:28 sev_hotosm: michael63 the idea would it to make it shorter
12:29 sev_hotosm: maybe we can also alternate with WE for those who cannot in the working days
12:31 sev_hotosm: the training WG does it the WE, this is why I propose this
12:34 michael63: less ideal for me - I am travelling (with limited connectivity) or hiking often on weekends
12:42 sev_hotosm: I would not be available everytime myself, the idea is just to make things go ahead