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Monday, April 15, 2024

Signpost reminds us that nice issues are doable by collaboration


This weblog was written by Andre Heller, Program Director of Signpost. Signpost, is an Worldwide Rescue Committee (IRC)-led consortium undertaking that creates digital data hubs to equip and empower shoppers in instances of disaster. 


Andre Heller, Program Director, Signpost
Andre Heller – Program Director, Signpost

This yr’s World Humanitarian Day theme is “No Matter What” – a recognition that the humanitarian group strives to succeed in folks in disaster with lifesaving help, whatever the risks or difficulties in making that occur. That tenacious spirit is each becoming and needed this yr. Since final August, long-standing humanitarian crises in locations like Syria and Venezuela haven’t abated. On the identical time, new crises have emerged or circumstances have deteriorated to alarming extents in international locations as far-flung as Afghanistan, Haiti, Niger and Sudan.

Within the face of those mounting challenges, it’s comprehensible to really feel despair. However there are causes to hope. Folks dealing with unimaginable problem continuously discover new methods to persist, recuperate, and ultimately thrive. The Worldwide Rescue Committee (IRC) sees their braveness and resilience firsthand on daily basis. And the humanitarian group that serves them, in partnership with donors and grassroots communities around the globe, are creating new and extra highly effective methods to maneuver humanity to a greater place.

A strong instance of that is Signpost, an IRC-led consortium undertaking that creates digital data hubs to equip and empower shoppers in instances of disaster. Signpost platforms ship vital data by native groups geared up with cutting-edge digital instruments — offering communities with well timed and actionable data. That data is important for folks to resolve troublesome and complicated issues and make pivotal selections on their plan of action in instances of disaster.

Two women looking at a cell phone
After fleeing violence in Honduras, Maria meets with an IRC employees member who reveals her the InfoDigna web site, a Signpost initiative that gives dependable data for folks transiting by Mexico. Photograph Credit score: Paul Ratje

The right data on the proper time helps folks perceive large questions like: is it secure to flee the nation? Am I eligible for a meals program to help my household? The place can I discover employment? The place to seek out the hospital that may assist with a power sickness? How do I enroll my youngsters in a brand new college in a brand new metropolis? The place can my household discover shelter in a spot that’s secure from violence?

Signpost helps folks method these questions with up-to-date, correct data. It’s now energetic in 22 international locations throughout 5 continents and plans to develop within the months and years forward.

From the start, partnership has been a key ingredient of Signpost’s energy and success. Cisco’s help empowered the Signpost expertise crew to innovate and take away years of backlog. In only one yr Signpost constructed the next applied sciences that helped exponentially develop the attain and influence of this system:

Service Map Rebuild

A low-code knowledge administration system for Service Mapping Officers throughout the globe to map service places so our shoppers can higher entry the locations they want. This instrument can hook up with chatbots, geospatial knowledge, and handle real-time incoming data.

Common Analytics Stack

A central hub the place all Signpost knowledge is securely saved to facilitate higher concentrating on of humanitarian data and assist in humanitarian advocacy.

New Entrance Finish

A fast-deploy and centrally administered web-application deployed to over 10 international locations. This template can perform on-line and offline, and retailer vital data with a utilitarian method.

Woman on laptop looking over shoulder at camera
IRC employees have a look at CuentaNos.org within the workplace in El Salvador. Cuenta Nos is Signpost in Central America.

Up to now yr of Cisco’s help, Signpost reached 32 million folks, served 5.74 million customers, with 131,830 distinctive two-way communications with shoppers, almost doubling our influence numbers from all years (2015-2022) previous. This help led to a 188% improve in attain, 187% improve in customers, and 393% improve in two-way communications over final yr’s annual rely.

In recognition of Signpost’s success in connecting folks in disaster with important and vetted data, the United Nations just lately awarded the undertaking with a prestigious Sustainable Improvement Aim Motion Award. There is no such thing as a query that daring and revolutionary partnerships like Signpost have an enormous position to play in serving to the worldwide group each attain the United Nations’ Sustainable Improvement objectives and in serving to the humanitarian group serve its shoppers extra broadly.


To study extra concerning the Worldwide Rescue Committee (IRC) and its partnership with Cisco, in addition to how one can help and donate, go to the Cisco Disaster Response web page and IRC’s web site.

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