Many people have been wondering what ISCRAM is doing regarding the horrific situation in Haiti. The answer is that we are working out what we can do.
We are not a direct response organization. Our primary role is to change the future of crisis management rather than the present. We hope that the enormous efforts the ISCRAM community has devoted toward this end over the past seven years are now bearing fruit and are helping to save lives and relieve suffering.
However, we are not immune to wanting to have a more tangible and direct effect where possible, and, as a very young organization, are grappling with the question of what we might do to support the immediate situation in Haiti as well as the broader question of what our role can and should be with respect in catastrophic events. Our community offers formidable resources:brains, knowledge and extensive professional networks. But it is not obvious how these are mobilized in a meaningful and systematic way.
We will be opening a conversation on this broader question within the community, and will take it up at the upcoming conference in May. In the meantime, we welcome ideas and suggestions on how we might contribute to the present situation (bearing in mind that a complaint or suggestion is an act of volunteering; we have no spare “they”s lying about, you is both “we” and “they”).
In the meantime, we recognize that one of our responsibilities as an organization is to enable our community members to contribute to the response, so will be extending the Short Paper and Practitioner Report deadline for ISCRAM2010. Please look for an announcement from Simon French, the Program Chair, for further details.
We have also established a page on ISCRAM Live so that you may follow and report on ISCRAM-related Haiti activities: ISCRAM Live Haiti, please use the tag #iscramhaiti in your tweets, blogs, flickr uploads, etc.
We also encourage everyone make use of the extensive ISCRAM network through our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter feeds.
With our sincere gratitude and thankful recognition to those of our community members who are actively engaged in response efforts, those who are supporting the response in indirect ways, and those whose past efforts are now bearing fruit.