Online forum launched for Haiti relief efforts

WeHaveWeNeed.org connects nongovernmental organizations in need of supplies with donor companies

Aid organizations now have an online forum to get assistance from private-sector donors for rescue and relief efforts in Haiti.

The platform, WeHaveWeNeed.org, was designed by volunteer developers with help from the State Department. The site, which resembles a Craigslist-like forum for organizations working to help victims of this month’s earthquake, allows aid organizations to post their needs and connect with would-be donors to get help in categories such as food, fuel, medical, telecom, and transport.


Related stories:

Tragedy in Haiti: The mother of invention

Agencies harness social media for Haiti relief efforts 


“This cost [the federal government] nothing, and was created by a bunch of distributed do-gooders across the Unites States,” said Katie Stanton, director of citizen participation and special adviser on innovation at the State Department.

Stanton brought the idea for a Web-based platform to link nongovernmental organizations working in Haiti with companies that want to donate to the relief effort to a recent meeting of volunteer technologists in Washington. The effort was also taken up by a team of volunteers in Los Angeles.

The “do-gooders” were part of a CrisisCamp, a group working to develop technological tools to help response efforts in Haiti that was organized by the international volunteer network, Crisis Commons,  Craigslist isn’t responsible for the project, but founder Craig Newmark recently praised the effort on his blog.

“We helped frame the problem to solve and it was really the public – the community at CrisisCamp – that actually built the product,” Stanton said.

“While the first instance is in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, we hope that this will be reusable for disasters that happen in the future wherever they may be,” she added.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • FCW PERSPECTIVES
    sensor network (agsandrew/Shutterstock.com)

    Are agencies really ready for EIS?

    The telecom contract has the potential to reinvent IT infrastructure, but finding the bandwidth to take full advantage could prove difficult.

  • People
    Dave Powner, GAO

    Dave Powner audits the state of federal IT

    The GAO director of information technology issues is leaving government after 16 years. On his way out the door, Dave Powner details how far govtech has come in the past two decades and flags the most critical issues he sees facing federal IT leaders.

  • FCW Illustration.  Original Images: Shutterstock, Airbnb

    Should federal contracting be more like Airbnb?

    Steve Kelman believes a lighter touch and a bit more trust could transform today's compliance culture.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.