Information portal about emergencies and crisis situations that occur in the world
International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a global humanitarian aid, relief, and development nongovernmental organization. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers emergency aid and long-term assistance to refugees and those displaced by war, persecution or natural disaster. The IRC is currently working in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities where it resettles refugees and helps them become self-sucient. The President of the International Rescue Committee is the former U.K. Member of Parliament, David Miliband. Consisting of first responders, humanitarian relief workers, international development experts, healthcare providers, and educators, the IRC has assisted millions of people around the world since its founding in 1933. SolDevelo is involved in many IRC projects.
Classification is an IRC portal used by it’s employees to share information about emergencies and crisis situations that occur in the world, such as immigration crisis situations, famine, war, etc. This information is then processed by an algorithm that ranks the emergency and suggests what stance should the IRC take on that emergency. The decision is based on the severity of a given emergency and the IRC presence in the region, as well as some other factors, such as the presence of other humanitarian aid organizations.
IRC classifiers then make the decision on what the actual response should be. They can use the suggestion of the system, but the decision is theirs in the end. The portal shows a map view of the planet, where emergencies are associated with countries. These countries are colored on the map based on the IRC stance. Users first create a worksheet of the emergency, by entering all relevant data, then the emergency is visible to all other visitors of the portal as a scorecard, where the recommended and taken actions and decisions are shown.
Reporting of emergencies in XLS format is also possible. When we took over, the Classification system was already built by IRC. The system allowed users to create emergencies and track them on the map view. An algorithm was implemented in order to suggest an approach to the IRC decision maker, however it was still in their power to override the stance suggested by the system. Our task was to do multiple changes to the interface, making it more sleek and user friendly. We were also requested to implement email notifications that would alert decision makers that an emergency was created in the system.
Additional changes to the way suggested/taken stance was handled were also made. We were already involved in multiple projects for IRC that used a similar technology stack, so we made the most sense as technology partner for them in this project.
We have implemented the changes requested by IRC, by improving the visual side of the application, making it more sleek and eye pleasing. Moreover we have changed the display of a worksheet and scorecard in the system to a left hand side tabbed view.
Lastly, we implemented email notifications to decision makers, that would trigger after someone created an emergency in the system. We extended the map with popovers that allow viewing emergencies for a region and navigating to the emergencies of a selected country. Four people were involved in the project from our side: 1PM, 2 devs and 1 QA.
The newly improved looks were enthusiastically received by IRC. The system is now being used for classifying emergencies by the IRC management. An algorithm is being used to suggest the best possible approach to an emergency based on the severity of the emergency and IRC’s ability to act in the region. Thanks to the system, IRC is able to quickly make better judgments on how to react to crisis situations and emergencies around the world.