Saturday, September 13, 2014

Research on the Sahana Disaster Management System

Next week I am giving a presentation about the Free Open Source Sahana Disaster Management System. For this I will use one of the preprepared slide packs from the Sahana Foundation, plus some of my own material rested to university students and computer conferences. However, as this is for an academic audience, I thought I should also see if there is research literature which mentions Sahana.

I found 682 papers with the words: sahana disaster management. The number increases in a linear fashion from 5 in 2005 to 117 for 2013:
Number of Publications Per Year Mentioning Sahana
Year Publications
2005 5
2006 17
2007 37
2008 54
2009 53
2010 83
2011 97
2012 105
2013 117

Then I narrowed the search to the year 2014, which produced a more manageable 65 papers.
As this is about open source software, I thought I should just look at open access publications (which do not need a fee to be paid to read), which reduces the number to about 20, but still too many to read. Here are the first few:

The Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience Project used the Sahana Community Resilience Mapping Tool (Eisenman et al., 2014). Drager and Robertson also mentioned Sahana in the context of risk reduction (2014). Liu, Chen and Wang describe the enhancement of Sahana with an ontology (2014). Li, Li, Ginjala and Zaman (2014) mention Sahana and Ushahidi, before discussing SMS, as do Reuter et al. (2014). Waidyanatha (2014) describes the development of Sahana workshops to implement the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) to provide standardised emergency warnings via SMS. IOTX Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Workshops. Horita, Link, Porto de Albuquerque and Hellingrath (2014) propose a way to integrate geographic information into the Sahana and Ushahidi GIS and logistics systems. Poblet, García-Cuesta and  Casanovas  (2014) look at the use of crowd-sourcing for providing information in a disaster.

Sahana appears to be mentioned frequently alongside  Ushahidi as an example of free open source emergency management software. Researchers also find it a useful context for discussing ideas for emergency software development, in terms of ontologies, social media and interfaces. What is less common are papers on use of the software or its development or enhancement.


  1. Drager, K. H., & Robertson, T. V. (2014). Global Response for Capacity Building of Disaster Preparedness: A TIEMS Initiative.
  2. Eisenman, D., Chandra, A., Fogleman, S., Magana, A., Hendricks, A., Wells, K., ... & Plough, A. (2014). The Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience Project—A Community-Level, Public Health Initiative to Build Community Disaster Resilience. International journal of environmental research and public health, 11(8), 8475-8490.
  3. Horita, F., Link, D., Porto de Albuquerque, J., & Hellingrath, B. (2014). A Framework for the Integration of Volunteered Geographic Information into Humanitarian Logistics .
  4. Li, J., Li, Q., Ginjala, A., & Zaman, N. (2014). eSMS-a Semantics-assisted Emergency Information System Based on Social Media.
  5. Liu, Y., Chen, S., & Wang, Y. (2014). SOFERS: Scenario Ontology for Emergency Response System. Journal of Networks, 9(9), 2529-2535.
  6. Poblet, M., García-Cuesta, E., & Casanovas, P. (2014, January). IT Enabled Crowds: Leveraging the Geomobile Revolution for Disaster Management. In Sintelnet WG5 Workshop on Crowd Intelligence: Foundations, Methods and Practices.
  7. Reuter, C., Friberg, T., Moi, M., Bizjak, G., Nuessler, D., Sangiorgio, F., ... & Gizikis, A. (2014). Guidelines for Social Media integration into existing EMS systems. In     EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IN SOCIAL MEDIA GENERATION.
  8. Waidyanatha, N. (2014). IOTX Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Workshops. Planet@ Risk, 2(5).

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