Pakistan Floods — What to Do?

August 27th, 2010

I’ve been asked a few times what I think Mozilla can do to respond to the suffering caused by the floods in Pakistan. The answer is that I don’t know. I don’t know what particular expertise Mozilla has that can be put to use in a way that actually helps people. CrisisCommons works to develop technical solutions so that people can help, particularly to enable information sharing:

CrisisCommons is a global network of volunteers who help people in times and places of crisis. If you can use the Internet, a word processor, a cell phone or any other kind of technology, you can help. Right now virtually online or during one of our many CrisisCamps around the world!

CrisisCamps are held to bring focused attention on particular disasters. There’s one tonight in Silicon Valley focused on the Pakistan floods. Here’s the description:

Non-techies with laptops are needed do Pashtun translation, data entry, blogging, text editing, classifying messages, user-interface testing, collating web-based news updates, etc. We will also create technical tiger teams to provide Silicon Valley-located expertise to CrisisCommons projects managed by camps around the world. These projects involve mapping, databases, crowd-sourcing, coding, user-centered design, etc. This requires techies with laptops. Range of coding skills (python), geo-, and user interface skills are required.

I plan to go — anyone else?

8 comments for “Pakistan Floods — What to Do?”

  1. 1

    Ojih Biondo said on August 27th, 2010 at 9:19 pm:

    Hi Mitch,

    I really admire the organization that you chair. Mozilla stands for a great cause. If there is anything i could do to help, as a non-techie, let me know.


  2. 2

    Spike said on August 28th, 2010 at 12:42 am:

    Good post Mitchell I’m sure you were welcome at CCSV.

    Ojih – you may classify yourself as “non-techie” but CrisisCamps, real and virtual, will welcome you.

    Please see for list of forthcoming camps and for info on how to help from home.

    Spike – CrisisCamp London

  3. 3

    Muhammad Ilyas said on August 28th, 2010 at 3:09 am:

    That is nice even though Mozilla can’t do anything, at least you guyz are considering to do something.

  4. 4

    Pingback from My First CrisisCamp at Toolness

    […] few days ago, Mitchell Baker wrote a blog post in which she wondered how Mozilla could help with humanitarian crises. One thing I noticed about […]

  5. 5

    Mitchell Baker said on August 29th, 2010 at 9:01 pm:

    Ojih, Muhammad: thanks! I think we’re in the early stages of figuring out what people who are remote from a disaster can do. The tools are young, still pretty basic, and we don’t yet have the cross-fertilization among multiple groups that will make things more effective. For example, I’ll bet there are many people familiar with the villages of the flooded regions but living outside Pakistan who could create a better database of villages and locales. We just don’t yet have the systems for those people to realize how important their knowledge of local geography is , what do to with it, and how to get that info integrated with the other info being gathered. I see part of what we’re engaged in as trying to develop these systems — in real-time for this crisis and hopefully in advance for future problems. Atul’s post talks a bit more about this:

  6. 6

    Pingback from CrisisCamp, “humane workflow” and Mozilla | o p e n m a t t

    […] Mitchell Baker wrote last week, she often gets asked how Mozilla can help respond to humanitarian crises. Mitchell and other […]

  7. 7

    Pingback from Matt Thompson: CrisisCamp, “humane workflow” and Mozilla |

    […] Mitchell Baker wrote last week, she often gets asked how Mozilla can help respond to humanitarian crises. Mitchell and other […]

  8. 8

    alex said on December 7th, 2010 at 11:34 am:

    Пишите мна на e-mail и я вам расскажу подробности этой темы

Skip past the sidebar