Collection, sharing, and dissemination of information are critical components of a successful disaster response operation. However, information sharing and management platforms currently in use by ASEAN member states use different technologies, are not mutually accessible, andare not interoperable - a function necessary for effective and efficient collaboration during a response. Given the severity of recent disasters in the region such as Typhoon Haiyan, a common, interoperable information sharing and management platform that is easily accessible to civilian and military responders is vital for a coordinated disaster response.
The Capstone team analyzed four major information sharing and management platforms used to coordinate civilian and military assets during disaster response: WebEOC, VOSOCC, OPERA, and APAN. Metrics used to measure successes and shortcomings for each system were cost, interoperability, bandwidth, portability, technology requirements, mobile application, and ease of access. Through interviews with key stakeholders at both the end user and system administrator levels, the Capstone team found a lack of overall interoperability in each of the four systems. This shortcoming continues even with the acknowledgement of need from a preponderance of interviewees. In addition, other notable shortcomings identified through surveys were the procedural reporting requirements and lack of a mobile application.
To overcome the interoperability challenge and improve information sharing efficiency, the Capstone team recommended three actions. The first is to hold a meeting of key regional stakeholders where interoperability is on the agenda. The second is to improve standard operating procedures and streamline reporting requirements. The final recommendation is the development of a useful mobile application.