Important Foundation Announcements – March 2010

  • The Membership of the Sahana Software Foundation was formed in January.  It includes 23 persons who previously served on the Board or Project Management Committee.  Our release announcing this can be viewed here:  http://wiki.sahanafoundation.org/doku.php/foundation:initial_membership
  • Save the Date:  The first Meeting of Members and the Board will take place on Sunday, May 2, 2010 in Seattle Washington, co-located with the ISCRAM conference.  Details will soon follow.  We plan a morning Members meeting, followed by an open mini-conference/symposium in the afternoon – a good opportunity for people to present their Sahana efforts to the Members and interested attendees at ISCRAM.
  • CLAs from All Committers and PMC members are required and requested from anyone else contributing either code or ideas to Sahana’s projects.  Please see:  http://wiki.sahanafoundation.org/doku.php/foundation:start#contributor_license_agreement.
  • The Board established the Community Development Committee to oversee internship programs, mentorship opportunities, and programs such as the Google Summer of Code.
  • Speaking of which, we have been accepted as a mentoring organization for the Google Summer of Code 2010!!!  Information will be posted here: http://wiki.sahanafoundation.org/doku.php/foundation:sahana_gsoc10.  All GSOC announcements will come from our Community Development Committee.  Gavin Treadgold and David Bitner are serving as the GSOC Administrators for the Sahana Software Foundation this year.  What they say, goes.
  • You may have heard that the Board has adopted formal naming conventions for all Sahana projects.  Each project should start working on coming up with a creative and appropriate name.  See http://wiki.sahanafoundation.org/doku.php/foundation:project_names
  • The Board will soon formally establish by resolution the technical projects of the Sahana Software Foundation – one for the PHP project and one for the Python project.  At the same time, we will also be establishing a Standards and Interoperability Project, which will be responsible for promoting the use of open standards and interoperability between Humanitarian FOSS  projects – including and especially the Sahana technical projects.  There has been lots of productive discussion on this the past few days.  Please let me know if you’d like to be involved on this committee.
  • You may have noticed that we have recently migrated our website and wiki from the sahana.lk domain to the sahanafoundation.org domain.  All old links should automatically redirect.  Please report any problems to admin@sahanafoundation.org
  • All project infrastructure sites will soon move to a subdomain of the sahanafoundation.org domain.  We will do this migration in coordination with new names being decided by the community and Project Management Committees.
  • We are setting up Sahana as a Super Project on Launchpad and will soon migrate all of our code bases there under a single banner.  This will take some time to set up as we’ll need to use the new project names to set up the sub-projects.
  • We had a really successful deployment for Haiti using SahanaPy; our organization registry, request management system and hospital management system were all quickly stood up and provided data feeds in several formats.  This served an important and valued gap-filling resource for the first several weeks of the earthquake response.  This response really cemented Sahana’s reputation as a leader in Humanitarian FOSS.
  • In late January, I was part of a team that travelled to Miami to support US SOUTHCOM as part of multi-project effort – including InSTEDD, Ushahidi, FortiusOne, Open Solutions Group, Mindtel, Crisis Commons and NDU/Star-Tides.  We worked on an open source medical supply system based on Sahana’s Hospital Management System and the EDXL-HAVE standard. While never deployed in Haiti, we have hopes that this system might be utilized in future disasters.  In addition, as a result of this mission, Sahana’s Haiti portal was made accessible on an iframe within the US APAN collaboration site - that serves as a non-classified space where US military responders can share information with UN agencies, NGOs and other relief agencies.
  • I am very proud that Sahana members helped shape discussion over standards for hospital data - using EDXL-HAVE - and missing/found persons data - using PFIF.  I must thanks David Bitner for joining me in several conference calls with other technology providers, UN agencies, US Government agencies and others and being a strong voice for advocating open standards.
  • In late January, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) approached us to provide support for the food cluster in Haiti, and we have been working on a funded project basis for them since the beginning of February. This project is scheduled to go on through May or June of this year.
  • In late February, Connie White and I participated in the Naval Postgraduate School’s Concept Based Experimentation in Avon Park, Florida.  We planned some future experiments with Carnegie Mellon University to utilize their mesh networking system over handheld radios to carry Sahana data.  We also planned out a long-term plan for future experiments as part of RELIEF experiments hosted by NPS at Camp Roberts.
  • After the earthquake in Chile, we stood up a portal based on our most recent PHP code, but have mostly remained in standby as international assistance has not been requested by the national authorities and the scale of the response required was much smaller than for Haiti, despite the earthquake being measured to be much larger.
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About Mark Prutsalis

Mark has over 20 years of operational humanitarian relief and emergency management experience following major international and domestic natural and man-made disasters.
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