We seek to identify and advance solutions in Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response (HADR) environments which reduce and eliminate human suffering.
Our efforts are consistent with the United Nations “Cluster Approach” which was instituted in 2006 as part of the UN Humanitarian Reform process focused on enhancing humanitarian coordination.
Just as the cluster approach aims to improve the predictability, timeliness, and effectiveness of humanitarian response that advance recovery efforts, our “Infrastructure Areas” support these efforts through advancing key technologies that enable improved efforts across multiple cluster areas.
While our areas do not fit neatly within the cluster areas, they focus on the key challenges that those working in peace, stability and humanitarian assistance across several of the cluster system areas.
An essential element of human survival is to live in conditions which support a basic quality of life. Stressed populations in post-disaster, post-war and/or impoverished situations will likely need to protect themselves from harsh weather conditions, especially if their homes have been destroyed. Heat strokes and hypothermia often kill more people than the actual earthquake, hurricane, or other disaster. Providing the victims with the basics of water, shelter, food, and medical services can help solve many of the factors that lead to such suffering, but in this section we also highlight specific technologies that can help combat the harsh weather. STAR-TIDES is working to provide a useful database of information for technologies that can be supplied to emergency situations and for long-term development in order to help those suffering from extreme temperatures.
Key to effective HADR and short-term development efforts is understanding conditions impacting human need, identifying and coordinating actions amongst governmental and NGO actors, and assessing the impacts of response efforts in order to adequately reinforce, re-direct, and resource effective programs. Post-disaster, post-war and/or impoverished situations require prompt and effective collaborations across a broad community both on the ground in impacted areas as well as communicating essential requirements with supporting organizations at national, regional and international levels.
Technologies in this area focus on identifying information sharing and management support technologies that connect people and ideas within humanitarian response, stabilization and development efforts to expeditiously assess, design, plan and conduct coordinated efforts.
Food supply often represents the largest component of aid to stressed populations in post-disaster, post-conflict and generally impoverished situations. It is therefore important that it is properly usable. One crucial aspect of this is through the provision of sustainable innovation and technology for food preparation through integrated cooking mechanisms, which can be comprised of necessary combinations of solar energy, combustion stoves and retained heat.
Towards ensuring the most effective provision of power resources and innovation in post-disaster, post-conflict and impoverished conditions, STAR-TIDES is working to provide a useful database of cooking technologies which are inexpensive, sustainable and can be supplied to emergency situations and development scenarios with minimal costs. These leverage the idea forwarded by UNHCR for refugee cooking situations and a number of other centers (For more information visit STAR-TIDES Resources Section)
A source of light is very valuable for those areas of the world where there is no central power grid. Lighting can extend working hours and allow children to study after working during the day, and also help adults take care of the household and even run small businesses. Lighting in an emergency and a flashlight (aka torch) is often at the top of the list for supplies in disaster preparedness packs. A source of light is also very valuable for those areas of the world where there is no central power grid. Ashraf Ghani once described a light bulb in every kitchen as being one of the most transformative things that could be done in Afghanistan. Lighting can extend working hours and allow children to study after working during the day, and also help adults take care of the household and even run small businesses. Adequate lighting is also important for security, and must be a consideration when establishing camps, whether short-term or long-term refugee camps.
The lights needed after a disaster and the lights for developing world often have similar characteristics, and many products are now using renewable power sources such as solar, wind and water, and combined with low consumption, efficient systems such as florescent and LED lighting. They also can be arranged in diverse configurations because of low heat output and other characteristics. Fluorescent (especially compact-type), halogen and krypton bulbs are still valuable and can be found in many products. These expanded choices and potential combinations enable disaster responders and development workers to provide more effective and efficient lighting for expanded numbers at reduced cost and infrastructure required.
Stressed populations in post-disaster, post-war and/or impoverished situations will likely experience a disruption in electric power. In many instances the infrastructure will be severely damaged, and alternative electrical power sources will be needed until the system can be restored. In other cases, where a population is displaced and is living in a temporary camp, electrical power will be needed for lights to provide security, heating or cooling the population, and to meet many other life support requirements that consume electrical power. Integrated, renewable and mobile energy solutions are key in providing sustainable support in development and reconstruction environments.
Many variables need to be considered in order to provide sustainable and self-sustaining power solutions for small and large scale operations in emergency environments. If there is no stable power grid, alternative solutions (derived from wind, solar, micro-hydro, hybrid, etc.) may be critical to survival or recovery. However, not every power provision suits all situations. The needs of individuals, resource availability and the integration of civil-military capabilities sharing in the scenario all play a role in determining the most fitting integrated approach to energy solutions.
STAR-TIDES provides a useful database of information for inexpensive, sustainable power technologies and infrastructure solutions for emergency situations and development scenarios with minimal transportation costs.
International humanitarian and development standards recognize that sanitation is considered to be a “basic requirement” for sustaining the lives and dignity of stressed populations. Sphere provides detailed standards for proper sanitation within the humanitarian relief and assistance arena.With effective sanitation technology, people have more healthful living standards, increasing well-being, quality of life and the community’s social and economic development. Additionally, in disaster response situations, early assessments and implementation of sanitation efforts can prevent the start and spread of disease that not only threaten the local populace, but can significantly divert, delay or disrupt national and international resources and response efforts.
The following resources and technologies are focused on assisting humanitarian response and development efforts in the design, planning and establishment of effective and efficient sanitation systems to enable mission success.
Whether in post-disaster, post-conflict or general conditions of impoverishment, shelter is one of the most basic human needs. That said, determining data requirements can be daunting. Each environment requires a combination of shelter options to provide housing that serves multiple functions, including protection from the weather and other natural elements, provisions for varying numbers of residents and other context-specific needs based on the length of time the shelter is needed, transportability, energy efficiency, etc.
Meeting such environment and usage-specific shelter needs in rapid response and emergency situations can be difficult tasks especially in complex operations involving diverse military and civilian providers of aid and security. To encourage an effective mix of shelter solutions in post-disaster, post-conflict and impoverished conditions, STAR-TIDES is compiling information about technologies and infrastructures that may be used in various circumstances, and providing introductions to other information sources
Clean water is essential to human survival in all environments. This is especially true for stressed populations in post-disaster, post-war, and/or impoverished situations. Since lack of water is one of the principal causes of death among refugee populations and a reliable source of water is needed for community development, the provision of clean drinking water is a crucial task not only for emergency responders but also for development planners. Water collection, storage, treatment, and transportation analysis must be conducted.
STAR-TIDES is working to provide a useful database of information for inexpensive, sustainable water infrastructure that can be supplied to emergency and development efforts that will support individual, governmental, NGO, and international efforts formulating and implementing sustainable solutions to typical water (and sanitation) problems.