Disaster Management Suite

Overview

Major natural disasters typically lead to a large and sudden influx of assistance to the affected communities, which can create serious planning and coordination challenges. A central obstacle is what can be called the information gap—the beneficiary government (as well as donor organizations and NGOs) lack readily accessible, timely, and reliable information about “who is doing what, where, and how” when it comes to post-disaster recovery and reconstruction activities.  This lack of information can result in duplicated or overlapping efforts and a situation where activities are not well aligned with the government’s reconstruction plans and priorities.

Core Features of Synergy DRM

Synergy DRM is a rapidly customizable, web-based Commercial-Off-The-Shelf software platform for disaster recovery management (DRM). Through efficient online data reporting, it provides stakeholders with a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of recovery activities, including funding flows and project results. As a highly modular and scalable platform, Synergy DRM includes modules for data entry and tracking (online, offline, and mobile), performance analytics/reporting, geo-spatial mapping (GIS), project concept note management, and citizen feedback—all in one seamlessly integrated IT environment. Synergy DRM’s complete toolset promotes effective mobilization, utilization and management of DRM resources, while improving transparency and accountability to citizens.

Track Disaster Recovery Funding and Project Progress

Synergy DRM enables stakeholders to record, track and analyze post-disaster pledges, disbursements, and expenditures alongside data on the physical progress, key performance indicators (KPIs), and results of recovery projects.

Report Disasters and Align Funds with Priority Needs

Users of Synergy DRM can report disaster events, recording critical information such as affected locations and populations, emergency response efforts, and estimates of damages, losses and needs. This information can then be compared against recovery assistance/activities to identify gaps and duplications of effort, thereby ensuring that funds and projects are aligned with needs and priorities.

Project Concept Note Submission and Approval

This module streamlines online the entire process of submission, review, and approval of reconstruction project proposals. By doing so, it allows the government to select for implementation proposed projects that best respond to reconstruction needs and priorities, thereby supporting rigorous planning and effective use of funds.

Geo-spatial mapping of recovery projects

Reporting and AnalyticsSynergy DRM’s GIS gives users a range of geo-referenced data plotting and visualization options, to gain an overview of “who is doing what, where, and how”, enhancing coordination, planning, and monitoring of recovery efforts.

The Synergy DRM’s reporting module automates the production of customizable reports, lists, and charts, and “Public Views” allowing the controlled publication of performance reports, and increased transparency and accountability. Reports, charts and graphs can be exported to Word, Excel, PDF, etc.

Citizen feedback and engagement

The input of members of the public can be critical in verifying and tracking progress disaster recovery interventions, and building public support for recovery efforts. Synergy DRM offers a range of citizen engagement, including public feedback/reporting modules, and Web Portals for dissemination of information.

Online, Offline and Mobile Data Capture (Smartphone app)


Disaster reconstruction often takes place in areas with damaged or limited electricity and internet connectivity. Using Synergy DRM’s offline mode and Smartphone app, data and GPS coordinates can be captured in the field and synced with the central DRM database when connectivity resumes.

The backbone of Synergy’s Disaster Management Suite is the Development Assistance Database (DAD) and the Monitoring & Evaluation system. These tools are proven solutions for aid management and project evaluation, implemented in over 40 countries world-wide, which can be customized specifically to the needs of an individual post-disaster context. In addition to the implementation of the DAD and M&E system, Synergy’s Disaster Management Suite includes the following package of tools:

 
  1. Donor Pledging System - For the international donors’ conference on Haiti’s post-earthquake recovery, Synergy developed the first ever online system for reporting and presenting aid pledges. This tool enabled donors to submit pledges before the conference through electronic forms, and it also allowed them to revisit their forms and update their pledge information. The system’s user-friendly and visually-captivating live feed projected pledges in real-time on a large screen at the conference as they were being announced or updated.
  2. Project Submission & Monitoring System – Successfully implemented by Synergy in post-tsunami Aceh and post-earthquake Haiti, this web-based system enables the submission, review, and monitoring and evaluating of proposed and existing projects. It serves as a decision-support tool of the lead reconstruction agency to coordinate the multitude of assistance efforts on the ground and ensuring that they are aligned with national post-disaster goals and priorities. This decision-support tool enables disaster management officials to avoid duplication of activities and to perform results-oriented post-disaster planning.
  3. Housing Reconstruction Tracking – HRM reports and tracks housing reconstruction projects. HRM measures the physical and financial progress of housing reconstruction projects against housing damages and reconstruction needs.
  4. Private Sector Aid Tracking – To address the growing role of private businesses and foundations in disaster management and recovery, Synergy developed the web-based Private Sector Funding Module to track post-disaster contributions by these crucial actors. The Private Sector Funding Module, implemented regionally in response to the 2004 Asian Tsunami, tracked data on contributions totaling $225 million from approximately 150 organizations in 20 countries.
  5. Internally-Displaced Persons (IDP) Mapping – The IDP Tracking Module provides a full situational analysis on internally displaced persons. Post-disaster environments are often characterized by millions of displaced people, frequently in need of urgent medical care or humanitarian assistance. Through GIS and other tools, the IDP Tracking Module maps the location of temporary shelters and camps so that aid can be rapidly and effectively distributed to needy populations.