Sunday, January 23, 2005

Internet Resource Centers

An update on the IRC's - Recoverlanka and Geolanka

As I come to the end of the visit, I could see that the websites that I had left behind and had been only able to contribute to only irregularly from Sri Lanka had developed dramatically.

The IRC team so far have made impressive strides into the development of the websites. The content, the functionality and the presentation have all improved dramatically due to Mano, Neil and Vidhura. Geethanjali and Jayantha had been maintaining inputs on the water side. Ruvini had kept updating the GIS maps and providing support with contacts. The weather team (Ale, Emily, Ousmane, Brad, Ousmane, Anji) had been brilliant at reconciling conflicting forecasts amidst crazy weather and lack of data. Charmini had come in to do the public relations work. Mano had been bringing in new folks and leading topics of discussion which are essential for 3R. Janaki, Manjula, Siraj and Zeenas have been providing support for the mapping, the programming, the PR and so on. Zeenas has been dealing with the local press. Vidhura had been able to establish contacts with TAFFREN (task force for reconstruction), brought in a few friends to help with programming and with Samitha had been able to turn the site into the best portal for data, maps and statistics on the Tsunami’s impact on Sri Lanka. My visit to Sri Lanka has opened up contacts with about a dozens that can yield to the good grounding of the operations in the affected areas.

So its been a first month which has yielded results that we could not have imagined – something made possible by the generosity of all involved so that they could work with strangers on a cause – something that only evolved in the way that things can happen on the internet. But we need to transition now – we all cannot keep going on in the same way for too long – we all have other tasks that need attention. So we have to strategize to figure out how best to evolve keeping with our resources and our limitations.