ICT4D Annotated Bibliography



This bibliography is intended to provide the reader with a large range of different information relating to the use of ICT in disasters. I have chosen to only include web based information as my target audience are unlikely to have accessibility to books and other sources of information. I feel that this is more appropriate as the people I intend to reach with this are those in countries where information on disasters is limited. Therefore the entire bibliography is fully interactive and complete with hyperlinks to allow the reader to directly connect to the sources. Also I acknowledge a very limited source of information on this subject in published books and journals in the ICT4D field. Specific attention however has been made to include a variety of information ranging from academic publications to organisations and educational programmes.



This web site 'GIS Development' is a company that 'aims to promote and propagate usage of GIS and related technologies in various areas of development'. The actual site provides links to a wide range of papers and articles written explaining and focusing on the application of GIS to aid development. Particular reference is given to the study of natural hazards in Asia. A large number of papers can be accessed here providing ranging from rough overviews to specific hazard papers such as earthquakes and volcanoes. The majority of sites are well references and come from a variety of sources including academics, governments and companies.


This link directs the user straight to a power point presentation displaying how GIS can be used and it’s effectiveness in natural disaster management. A vivid display with clear bullet pointed information for the less advanced user which clearly addresses the important issues through a basic approach. The presentation explains both basic knowledge of natural hazards and a degree of GIS methods. Detailed images portraying how GIS can be used to map varying types of risks are displayed eventually being combined into a layered effect to assess the areas at highest risk. The presentation is extremely user-friendly providing good visual imagery combined with factual information suitable for users with both none or good knowledge of GIS capabilities.


This site emphasises the importance of integrated GIS mapping solutions with internet communications. It suggests how it is possible to integrate the two so that such mapping can be carried out in the field without the need for specialist software which can be extremely expensive. It suggests how previously gathered information can be accessed through the internet on sites such as the web site of the Geographic Data Technology (GDT). This type of data can then be combined with field data collected by NGO’s to produce detailed maps and risk analysis. Included is a case study of how the Red Cross used internet based GIS to aid over 4,000 families by placing their services in the neediest areas according to mapping which they produced according to previously published and field data.


A article written by Dr Alok Gupta from the NCDM (National centre fro disaster management). This article focuses on the use of GIS and remote sensing in the prediction and forecasting of natural disasters. Focus is particularly paid to disasters in India as well as including chapters on various disasters such as flooding, earthquakes and hurricanes. Gupta argues that the correct use of GIS and remote sensing can significantly reduce the devastating effects of a disaster through the provision of early warning systems encouraging evacuation procedures. Attention is also paid to the aftermath of disasters and how GIS can aid this for example how satellite imagery can be used to locate specific areas possible to draw water from in a drought that may not have been acknowledged from the ground. Generally this is a very detailed and specific article which requires no need for a previous background in GIS techniques.



ESRI is a GIS virtual campus which allows people to take a course in GIS from their own computer anywhere in the world. It has been designed as a form of e-learning to educate those whose do not have access to courses although it does require the user to have purchased the software. One of the newly introduced courses available on the site is a course in disaster management through the application of GIS. While also providing valuable e-learning this course focuses on disaster prevention to migration and mapping of such disasters. It appears to be an extremely beneficial site as once software has been installed on a computer even in a developing country many can benefit from accessible knowledge which ESRI make widely available.


A broacher produced by the ITU to emphasis the importance of telecommunications in saving lives in the event of a natural disaster. It is a very useful accompaniment to seminar or presentations for educational purposes or for distribution amongst students studying related topics. The focus is largely on how telecommunications can prevent such devastating effects and also how they can aid in disaster migration. It’s simply form makes it easily accessible and suitable for most readers.


Hurricane preparedness week aims to educate its users on the effects and necessary procedures should a hurricane occur. It is also an extremely useful site for those in hurricane regions with little knowledge on the subject. It’s motto ‘preparation through education is less costly than learning though tragedy’. It is a very easy site to navigate and therefore would also be highly accessible to children and also provides learning material such as posters which can easily be downloaded and printed for display. A special section is designated specifically for children including weather games and posters. The site also provided information on survival kits for families which can be extremely useful in the wake of a disaster.



The Website the Community Radio Network set up as a project of the UNDP has vast amounts of information on the effectiveness of radio communication in disasters. In particular is an article focused on the effectiveness of radio communication in Pakistan following an earthquake. The article focuses on how private radio stations banded together to broadcast programmes to those affected. The entire website is dedicated to the use of Community Radios and the impact they can have in development. Many useful links, articles and general discussion around the topic are also available.


The Freeplay Foundation is a charitable organisation which has produced and distributed lifeline radios. Lifeline radios are radios which are designed specifically for humanitarian aid in the form of education, health and in times of disasters. Despite being specifically designed for children these radios have been key in many natural disasters. The web site describes the technology which has enabled the creation of the lifeline radios as well as explaining projects which are being run with them. The site also acts as publicity for the radios and encourages its viewers to donate a lifeline. The site in general has some truly amazing images and stories emphasising the huge impact and aid the lifeline radios have become in many cases. Particularly useful is the article on the use of lifelines in the recent Tsunami located in the projects section in the dropdown menu of the lifeline radio button.


This news article dated 26th June 2003 published on the BBC website explains a new form of mobile telephony in disasters which phone companies are currently experimenting with. The idea is that mobile phones could be fitted with a device or alarm which would sound in the event of a disaster leading rescuers to precise locations faster. It would be possible to activate all the alarms of mobile devices which could be considered to be in the disaster area.



The Cool Planet site operated as part of the Oxfam site has been particularly designed for children however provides basic information about the use of mobile phones in developing countries and specifically by NGO organisations in the event of a disaster.


This site provided an online colouring book all about disaster preparedness. It is fully printable providing a useful form of education for children while being fun. It also includes a letter to parents explaining the content of the colouring book and outlining some of the things and topic with they should explain and support their child learning. This site is extremely useful to those children who have no access to formal education who would learn from a fun exercise.


A website designed in educating children in disasters and how to prepare or recover from them. Also FEMA is an American organisation the content is clearly relevant to children all over the world. The site is extremely colourful and attractive to children of all ages providing interactive games, quizzes, homework and a library. It also offers children the chance to become a disaster action kid gaining a certificate and further education in disaster management. This site should be recommended to all children living in disaster prone areas.



UNESCO’s disaster web site outlines several programmes using the application of GIS to manage and reduce the risk of natural hazards. It states ‘The original objective of the programme was Capacity Building for Natural Disaster Reduction (CBNDR)’ The site usefully explains project outlines and objectives including information about pilot surveys in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. A small summery of results outlines how successful GIS can be if properly applied in the context of development. Perhaps the most useful tool UNESCO produced as a result of this project was a training pack consisting of two CD ROMs containing information and GIS mapping of the specific areas studied to be used in education and hazard management. Information on these packs is also available on the site as well as other links relating to ICT in development.


This paper states ‘ICT improves the ability to obtain, store and integrate large volumes of environmental data and to conduct stimulation and analysis in real time’. Produced by the World Bank the paper emphasises the importance of raising awareness of environmental issues through the use of ICT. It focuses on several ICT’s which can have substantial effects on environmental polices such as communication between governments and the public. A project known as ANFAS (Data fusion for flood analysis and decision support) is among one of the projects mention which aims to produce and information system which will provide new solutions for flood prevention and management. Also outlined is the World banks Natural Disaster Risk Management project which involves the invention of a private sector driven risk management scheme. Generally this is a very useful website providing information on ICT’s use in a broader environmental context.


This site associated with the World Bank hosts a number of articles relating to education in the field of ICT and disasters. The site has been designed to advertise seminars and conferences available to educate people in disaster management. It also holds publications of material from the seminars as well as project descriptions. Perhaps the most useful is the presentation at the World Bank for ICT for Disaster Management and Post Conflict Reconstruction which is included. This presentation outlines the key targets of the World Bank in a very simple yet effective form suitable for a large number of users. Also available is an online video of the seminars for the education of users. A site which is very user-friendly containing a large amount of multimedia to aid addition textual information.



This article published in the Feb 2005 issue of COL’s news publication focuses on the effects of the Asian Tsunami in Dec 2004. It discusses how the implementation of relevant ICT’s could have reduced the impact. However it also acknowledges how use of media and communication systems enabled the disaster to be dealt with world wide following such emotive media coverage. ‘Ironically, although there was no warning system in place to reduce the lost of life along the shores of the Bay of Begal, word of the disaster spread around the globe instantly thanks to modern technology (video cameras, cell phones, the world wide web, e-mail, text messaging) and dominated the news for weeks’. The article stresses the need for radio initiatives and open based education analysing the effects this could have on disaster management. COL’s article is extremely relevant in light of the recent Tsunamis while also raising positive suggestions for the application of ICT and programmes in the future.


This site allows the user to view summarised section of the World Disaster Report 2005 published by the International federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies. The report emphasises strongly the need for information as aid. Although the report pays little focus specifically on natural disasters chapter 6 relating to the events of the Tsunami and the importance of humanitarian media coverage in the digital age is particularly relevant. Other ITC initiatives are mentioned such as the use of radio and the internet although not so explicitly relating to natural disasters. The site overall consists of very valuable information assessing the appropriateness of IT and its relevance in disasters as well as providing critical analysis of previous projects and initiatives. It allows the user to purchase the full copy of the report and links to many other useful sites.


link to below

This website provides documents and articles relating to the use of ICT’s in disaster reduction and management. One of particular interest is the PDF file given above which can be easily navigated to via the site. It outlines specific case studies which have taken place in India.


This site contains an informative article written by Dr. Michael Gurstein currently a Visiting Professor in the School of Management at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Gurstein is writing in the context of the recent Tsunami disaster questioning whether ICT are really capable of delivering. The article questions the reliability of the internet and its current role in disasters arguing its use for missing persons etc is highly functional yet where is the actual factual information the people need to know. Although highly critical of some ICT initiatives it is a well structured argument. The Development Gateway web site also contained many links to other ICT related programmes and information in the disaster field of development.


This site titled the Natural Hazard Centre is an extremely constructive site containing a wide range of links for further reading. It is in essence a much larger annotated bibliography dived into sections according to the hazard type. Each reference is fully interactive and accessible leading the user to further sites of interest. A brief summary of each site is also given in much the same way as the present bibliography has been compiled. The bibliography contains not only articles and websites but also a large range of images and multimedia data forms.


ICT4 Jamaica is a website specifically designed for ICT4D initiatives and progression which has been made in Jamaica. The web site itself has a number of useful functions such as online chat facilities, country information, case studies and a news and events section. There is not a huge amount of emphasis placed on how the role of ICT’s can implement disaster management and strategies although focus is paid to reducing the risk. This is largely done through an article which explains and analysis’s the rise of telecities. The main line of argument posed is that with the invention of telecities possible though increased telecommunications and the reverse of a trend towards mega cities it is possible to reduce the risk associated with disasters and terrorist attacks. ‘We need to reverse the trend toward mega cities, which puts vast numbers of people at risk for terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Telecities are one solution’. In general a useful website however for all aspects of ICT although particularly specific to Caribbean solutions.


This article written by Dr Suvit Yodman and David Hollister directors of ADCP (Asian disaster preparedness centre) fully available online discusses communication technology in disasters using Asia as a case study. It discusses the role of communications and the social and technical aspects. This paper is extremely informative previding information on disaster mitigation, recovery and aspects of prediction through the use of ICT. It considers a large number of case studies and focuses on many aspects of communication technologies.