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Space for Climate
Open AccessCommunication

Rethinking Engagement: Innovations in How Humanitarians Explore Geoinformation

Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, P. O. Box 28120, The Hague 2502 KC, The Netherlands
Boston University Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, 67 Bay State Rd, Boston MA 02215, USA
Academic Editors: Christoph Aubrecht and Wolfgang Kainz
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2015, 4(3), 1729-1749;
Received: 4 May 2015 / Accepted: 31 July 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoinformation for Disaster Risk Management)
When humanitarian workers embark on learning and dialogue for linking geoinformation to disaster management, the activities they confront are usually more difficult than interesting. How to accelerate the acquisition and deployment of skills and tools for spatial data collection and analysis, given the increasingly unmanageable workload of humanitarians? How to engage practitioners in experiencing the value and limitations of newly available tools? This paper offers an innovative approach to immerse disaster managers in geoinformation: participatory games that enable stakeholders to experience playable system dynamic models linking geoinformation, decisions and consequences in a way that is both serious and fun. A conceptual framework outlines the foundations of experiential learning through gameplay, with clear connections to a well-established risk management framework. Two case studies illustrate this approach: one involving flood management in the Zambezi river in southern Africa through the game UpRiver (in both physical and digital versions), and another pertaining to World Bank training on open data for resilience that combines applied improvisation activities with the need to understand and deploy software tools like Open Street Map and InaSAFE to manage school investments and schoolchildren evacuation in a simulated flood scenario for the city of La Plata, Argentina. View Full-Text
Keywords: disaster management; engagement; games; geoinformation; humanitarian; innovation; open data; Zambia disaster management; engagement; games; geoinformation; humanitarian; innovation; open data; Zambia
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Suarez, P. Rethinking Engagement: Innovations in How Humanitarians Explore Geoinformation. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2015, 4, 1729-1749.

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