In disasters from Haiti to Nepal to Myanmar, everyday people are rising to the challenge of helping aected populations. These informal responders play an invaluable, often life-sav- ing role in plugging the gaps of the formal response community. Working in dangerous conditions, with limited funds and patchy information, they always do more with less. But the question begs itself - how much more impact could they have if they were able to har- ness the power of the burgeoning socially-conscious, tech-savvy crowd?
HandsUp is an informal crisis coordination system. At it's core It uses a web platform to connect requests for aid in the field with informal responders who can source and deliver it. It maps these requests in order to minimize duplication of eort and improve eciency of the informal response, while sharing data to assist the formal response. HandsUp envisions the creation of a wide network of contacts in the field through which requests for aid will be submitted, and which can be polled for rapid needs as-sessment. These contacts will be maintained by district liaisons in part time paid posi-tions. The system will be deployed for small scale annual crisis response (ie floods and winterisation), with the lessons learned used for iterative development. Meanwhile, it will always design for scalability in large scale crisis, with features like micro tasking, to allow for ecient pro- cessing of requests by a surge of volunteers. It will continually maintain a viable product to deploy immediately in the case of an unexpected large scale disaster. After a successful pilot phase, HandsUp hopes to create or inspire similar networks in multiple countries.