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New technologies in support of more effective EU aid, development and assistance programmes

Objective

Specific Objectives
-to provide a Digital Map Archive to help in decision making on Humanitarian Aid and Development policies;
-to investigate how high resolution/very high resolution satellite imagery, integrated with environmental and socio-economic information, can provide time critical information in crisis situations;
-to see how emerging technologies in communication and navigation technologies (including the future Galileo system) can support humanitarian operations.
Planned Deliverables

Specific deliverables to DGs:
-release of the alpha and beta versions of the operational Digital Map
Archive to ECHO. The Alpha version includes 70% of requested functionality (release date June 2002);
- The beta version will include 100% of the requested functionality (release date December 2002);
-a roadmap showing how the Commission Services can obtain satellite imagery in crisis situations, and how EO data can be applied to provide time-critical information.

As a result of the research:
-a new tool, combining information gathering, spatial representation and web-based mapping and delivery;
-dissemination of results via workshops and scientific publications and participation in European networks;
-integration of the project with the information technology aspects of project 30 humanitarian demining.

Summary of Deliverables 2001 31/12/2001

To ECHO
-Prototype Digital Map Archive (System, Delivered 17 May 2001)
-Digital Map Archive, Revised Work Plan (4 July 2001).

Digital Map Archive, Specifications and System Requirements (Report delivered 15 July 2001)

To AIDCO and RELEX
-Report on the feasibility of using high resolution satellite imagery to assess damage in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Output Indicators and Impact

Output

- Acceptance of operational DMA system by ECHO;
- Acceptance of operational DMA system for data exchange by cooperating UN agencies.

Impact

- ECHO has at disposal an additional information for improving its decision making;
- Improved mechanism for sharing information with UN agencies thus ability to access to a large data pool for improved decision making.
Summary of the project

The project aims to provide customer-driven support to the EU's aid, development and assistance programmes in order to render them more visible, transparent, efficient and cost-effective.
The first main activity is the development of the Digital Map Archive (DMA), an on-line system that presents geographical information from databases over the Internet in the form of dynamic maps in order that the European Humanitarian Aid Office can provide aid more effectively in crisis situations. At the regional scale, more detailed systems for the management of information relating to human infrastructure and environment are being developed. Initial efforts have been based on a test case for South East Europe and Rwanda.
Techniques are being developed to address specific requirements of ECHO such as global assessments and identifications of vulnerable populations and develop scenarios of future crises areas.

The second activity investigates how information can be made available to Commission Services as rapidly as possible (within 72 hours) following a crisis.

The work involves
a) assessing the technologies/information required to support the need of Commission Services -
ECHO, RELEX, AIDCO - for timely information during or following a crisis;
b) investigating contractual/technological solutions for time critical acquisition and interpretation of high resolution (HR)/very high resolution (VHR) earth observation (EO) imagery;
c) assessing the effectiveness of automatic change detection algorithms for assessing ongoing and post-crises damage;
d) developing partnerships with research organisations, broadcasting service communities, satellite operations centres, and data downlink facilities in order to develop a work-plan for long-term commitment in the area of developing new products and methods based on communication technologies and HR/VHR EO data so that humanitarian and relief-aid become more efficient and thus assist in increasing the number of human lives saved.

The activity will also see how emerging technologies in communication and navigation technologies (including the future Galileo system) can support humanitarian operations.

Rationale

Humanitarian aid and development and assistance operations have to be mounted at short notice in parts of the world where geographical and demographical information is scarce and where socio-economic conditions are changing rapidly.
Modern information and communication technologies - high resolution/very high resolution satellites, the Internet, geographical information systems, global positioning systems - allows stakeholders to obtain information, integrate it with other information, share it with other stakeholders, maintain it and present it in a dynamic and timely way.

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research

Coordinator

Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen
Address

Ispra
Italy