to Establish the
Endorsed at the
GDIN Annual Conference
April 28, 2000
GDIN2001 23 March 2001). Further Amended in
2005-2006 and 2007 as a result of formal incorporation as a
federally registered charity 501(c)(3). While the
structure in this historical document has changed, the
fundamental policy goals have not. GDIN is forever
grateful for the work by Dr. Albert Simard of Natural
Resources, Canada who developed the Ankara Declaration, and
who continues to be a valued partner. Details on the
corporation and its legal documents are available upon
information, in the right format, to the right person,
in time to make the right decision."
23 March 2001
- GDIN was subsequently incorporated as a 501(c)3
Change to paragraph numbering
Selection of conference venue
Membership of Executive Committee
New para. Addition of members
Change from para number 9.4
Change from para number 9.5
Establishment of Working Groups
Virtual Information Facilitator Service
Change to By-laws completion date
describes the purpose and scope of a Global Disaster Information
Network (GDIN). It outlines the goals of GDIN, as well as
guiding principles and its intended benefits. It lists several
types of participants as well as describing four broad roles.
The Declaration outlines management and organizational structures
for GDIN. It explains the funding process and financial management
for GDIN. It concludes with processes for amending the Declaration
at the Ankara Conference and at subsequent annual GDIN conferences.
the human, economic, and ecological impacts associated with
disasters are increasing exponentially and these costs and
losses pose a systemic risk to societys social, economic,
and ecological bases. It is correspondingly difficult, in
some cases impossible, for local, national, and global disaster
management agencies to cope with the scope, magnitude, and
complexity of these disasters.
developing countries are particularly susceptible to enormous
losses from all types of disasters, due to limited response
capabilities, vulnerability of their economies and infrastructures,
and migration of people to hazard-prone areas and urban centers.
as we begin the 21st century, a revolution in information
and computer technologies is transforming the global community
from an industrial to an information society. Use of these
technologies could assist in reducing and preventing the considerable
impacts of disasters on people, their infrastructures, and
from a meeting in Washington DC on July 16-17, 1998 and a
meeting in Mexico City on May 11-14, 1999, the international
community of disaster experts agreed that there was a pressing
need to establish a Global Disaster Information Network, hereinafter
called GDIN, to harness rapidly evolving technology and information
management processes to facilitate and enhance the global
sharing of disaster management information.
this need, a consensus declaration was developed, based on
consultations with disaster experts from government agencies,
the United Nations, the World Bank, OECD, the EU, private
industry, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions.
the international community of disaster experts have endorsed
this declaration at the GDIN 2000 Conference in Ankara, Turkey,
on April 28, 2000. This endorsement represents the views of
the experts as individuals; it does not necessarily reflect
the views of their governments, agencies, organizations, or
companies. This endorsement reflects a consensus of delegates
at the Conference; no signatures are required.
any language in this Declaration to the contrary, it is understood
that nothing in the Declaration should be construed to give
rise to any international legal rights or obligations for
any GDIN participant.
2.1 GDIN is
a voluntary, self-sustaining, non-profit association of countries,
organizations, and professionals, from all sectors of society
with an interest in sharing all types of disaster information.
GDIN makes better use of existing and new technologies and
develops institutional processes to promote global sharing
of information about all disaster management functions between
providers and users. It does this, in part, by providing a
primary portal of access and linkage to existing national
and international emergency- and disaster-management networks.
GDIN also attempts to improve the effectiveness and interoperability
of disaster information systems. GDIN also promotes and supports
more timely access to disaster information by potentially
affected communities and the general public through national
and regional networks..
3.1 GDIN is
global in scope. GDIN facilitates the exchange of thematic
and organizational content (data, information, and knowledge),
focusing on natural and technological disasters. (This is
not to exclude other types of disasters/emergency situations
in the context of which GDIN-facilitated exchanges are feasible/appropriate.)
GDIN processes information about all disaster management functions:
prevention, mitigation, planning, preparedness, monitoring,
warning, response, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and recovery.
The range of disaster information reflects what is made available
by information providers; GDIN should not be a substantial
provider, nor should it limit what is made available.
4.1 The goals
of GDIN are:
awareness of the importance and value of disaster-related
information and best practices for managing it
- Adapt remote sensing,
computer, communication, information, and network technologies
to acquire, produce, disseminate, and access disaster
data, information, and knowledge.
- Promote the development
of national and regional capacity and infrastructures
to access, manage, disseminate and use disaster information
carried by GDIN in a digital format.
- Foster the sharing of
information about all disaster management functions
via a primary portal of access to national and international
- Facilitate development
and foster adoption of mutually-agreed interoperability,
metadata, and classification standards to support global
sharing of disaster information.
- Provide disaster information
and support services as directed by GDINs governing
principles serve to guide the design, development, and implementation
- The provision of information
is voluntary; however, such content should be formatted
so as to be compatible with mutually-agreed GDIN standards.
- Mandates, decision authorities,
and responsibilities remain with local, regional, and
national information users.
- Disaster information
is managed in accordance with mutually-agreed best practices
and principles, as endorsed by GDIN.
- Copyright, intellectual
property, proprietary information, and security concerns
must be respected.
- Disaster information
should be provided with no or minimal cost and restrictions.
- Information provided
without restriction is shared equally throughout GDIN.
Notice of the availability of such information should
be disseminated to all participants.
- International agreements,
such as the Tampere Convention on the Provision of Emergency
Telecommunications should be fostered, to enhance disaster
- GDIN complements and
partners with, not supplants, existing disaster information
networks to leverage the advantages of new technologies.
has the potential to reduce the human, economic, and ecological
impacts of disasters and the costs of disaster management
information more readily available when, where, and as needed.
the cost of producing, providing, and using disaster information.
the efforts of existing disaster information and relief networks.
more timely and better co-ordinated disaster response.
synergy to enable the production of new kinds of information.
public awareness of how to plan for and respond to disasters.
the base of knowledge about disaster and emergency management.
is inclusive rather than exclusive. The widest possible participation
in providing disaster information is encouraged from emergency
management communities. These include:
- International Organizations,
such as: the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies,
the World Bank Group, Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development (OECD).
- National, regional, and
local disaster management agencies.
- Disaster organizations,
such as: the International Red Cross and Red Crescent
Movement, Non-Governmental Organizations.
- Academic institutions,
such as universities, training schools, research and
development agencies, and institutes.
- Private industry, such
as companies and consultants that provide disaster-related
products and services.
- Emergency Associations,
such as: The International Emergency Management Society,
International Association of Emergency Managers, and
Emergency Planning Society.
- Recognized experts, such
as: managers, scientists, policy analysts, technical
specialists, government officials.
and its participants have four roles:
information - All activities undertaken by providers
are voluntary and as they deem appropriate. Information
providers are responsible for: managing information assets,
acquiring data, transforming data into information, synthesizing
new knowledge, disseminating information products, providing
access to content, providing search capability, and adapting
content to GDIN standards, as determined by the GDIN Standards
Working Group. Providers should assist users by identifying
potentially useful information and including source references
in the metadata.
- Using information
- Information users determine what information they
need, appropriate formats, and how they use it. Information
users are responsible for: searching for information,
accessing and transferring it to their repositories,
interpreting and adapting the information to their needs,
using it as they deem appropriate (consistent with restrictions
from providers), and all consequences of using the information.
The source of all information must be clearly identified.
- Managing information
- GDIN promotes, facilitates, coordinates, and supports
the provision and use of information by providers and
access by users. GDIN acts as an information broker
and manager, to integrate providers and users into a
disaster information community, to facilitate information
sharing through an information infrastructure, and to
assist users in finding and adapting content to their
specific needs and capacities. The brokering function
may include a quality assurance/quality control service
for disaster information. GDIN develops, implements,
and operates a primary portal of access to all existing
national and internal disaster information networks.
to information - GDIN links to and does not replace,
duplicate, compete with, or supplant, existing global
disaster information initiatives such as that provided
by: ReliefWeb, HazardNet, the International Federation
of Red Cross and Red Crescent, and the Reuters Foundation
AlertNet. It should also link to regional, sector, and
operational systems, such as the PAHO Supply Management
System, the WHO/EHA Health Information Network for Advanced
Planning, and the Canadian FireM3 System for Monitoring,
Mapping, and Modeling forest fires. GDIN leverages its
efforts by supporting and linking to existing global disaster
information networks. GDIN focuses on adding value to
existing information and networks.
9.1 GDIN is
managed by three bodies -- An Executive Committee, the Annual
Conference, and a Funding Committee. An overview of the management
structure is shown in Annex 1.
9.2 The Annual
Conference establishes GDIN goals, and objectives, policies,
operating procedures, and the types and providers of GDIN
services. The Conference is hosted by a country or disaster
organization; the host and location should change each year.
The Conference is organized and executed by a Conference Committee
chaired by the host. It comprises Chairs of the immediately
previous and succeeding conferences, the Chair of the Funding
Committee, Chairs of GDIN Working Groups, the GDIN Executive
Director, and other members, as the Annual Conference or Conference
Committee may deem appropriate. Direction from the conference
is based on a consensus of attending delegates, in accordance
with this Declaration. The Conference Committee prepares a
report of the Conference findings and recommendations. The
venue for the next conference or, alternatively, the one after
the next, is selected at the end of each conference.
9.3 The Executive
Committee provides oversight for GDIN and a Secretariat
by ensuring that directions from the Annual Conference and
the Funding Committee are implemented. The Executive Committee
is presided over by a Chair, who is elected by the Committee,
for a term of one year. It also oversees and coordinates the
activities of the various working groups. The Executive Committee
comprises nine members:
- The Chair of the Policy
- Representatives from
the Annual Conference Organizing Committee 2
- Representatives from
the Funding Committee 2
- Representatives of Working
Group Chairs 2
- Representative from the
NGO Working Group 1
- Executive Director 1
representative is selected by the committee or group(s) that
they represent. Other members may be added or removed by agreement
of the Executive Committee, until conclusion of the next annual
conference. Decisions are based on a consensus of members
of the Executive Committee, in accordance with this Declaration.
9.5 The Funding
Committee oversees and directs disbursements from a fund,
to be known as the GDIN Fund. The Funding Committee comprises
one representative each from any government or other participants
that provides 5% or more of GDIN core funding, including in-kind
contributions or contributions of approved services. Organizations
may aggregate their contributions to meet the 5% threshold
and gain a joint representative on the Committee. Committee
membership is for the year in which a contribution is made.
The Executive Director of GDIN is also be a voting member
of the Funding Committee, except on the GDIN annual budget.
Each representative has one vote. An organization is limited
to one vote, regardless of the number of contributions from
its component parts The Committee is presided over by a Chair,
elected by the Funding Committee, for a term of one year.
Decisions are based on a consensus of committee members, in
accordance with this Declaration..
Group Chairs and Project Leaders are non-voting observers
of the Funding Committee. All funding decisions regarding
Working Groups or Projects are taken in consultation with
appropriate Working Group Chairs or project participants.
Groups: These are groups of experts established and terminated
by the Annual Conferences to accomplish specific goals and
objectives on behalf of GDIN. The expected duration of a Working
Group is included in its terms of reference. Terms of reference
for each working group are approved and reviewed by the Conferences.
Working Groups report progress, accomplishments, findings,
and recommendations to the Annual Conference. The Conference
may appoint a Chair or allow a Working Group to select a Chair.
Travel expenses are normally incurred by Working Group members.
Working Groups may, however, request funds from the GDIN Fund
or other appropriate organizations to support cash expenditures
or to pay travel costs for essential experts. Between conferences,
the Executive Director or the Executive Committee can establish
additional Working Groups as the need arises and as funding
permits. Annual conferences can establish Working Groups and
can amend the mandate of or abolish Working Groups.
Director: The primary role of the GDIN Executive Director
is to implement directions received from GDINs governing
bodies. The Director recommends actions and activities as
well as reports on progress and accomplishments to these bodies
annually. The Director represents GDIN at international disaster
fora and at key meetings of international disaster organizations.
The Director assists host countries in organizing and executing
the Annual Conference, as needed. The Director supports Working
Groups and special projects to facilitate the achievement
of milestones and deliverables. The Director coordinates the
GDIN Secretariat and the Information Facilitator in fulfilling
their roles and responsibilities. The Executive Director could
also serve as a point of contact between participants and
the various GDIN committees and groups. The Executive Director
may assist with GDIN fund-raising activities but has no fiduciary
responsibility with respect to the GDIN fund. The Executive
Director is selected by the Annual Conference and serves for
a term of one year; the term may be extended by a consensus
of the Annual Conference.
Information Facilitator Service: The Virtual Information
Facilitator service assists users in finding information and
adapting it to their specific needs and capabilities. This
service is intended to provide assistance with unusual information
needs, when normal searches have been unsuccessful.
A minimal staff (not to exceed three positions) monitors and
records GDIN decisions and activities. It provides administrative,
clerical, and staff support for the management bodies, Working
Groups, the Executive Director, and the Information Facilitator.
It maintains a GDIN presence on the World-Wide Web and loads
data and information on to a Web site as directed by the Annual
Conference; it maintains links to approved disaster web sites
around the world; it creates and maintains a database of disaster
experts associated with GDIN. The Secretariat posts records
of GDIN meetings, decisions, and activities on the Web site.
11.1 The GDIN
Fund is established to accept and administer contributions
to GDIN. Funding for GDIN is through voluntary grants and
contributions. Any organization government, private,
or other with an interest in disaster management may
contribute to GDIN. Contributors may direct their contributions
to specific GDIN activities or may place conditions on the
use of their contributions. Contributions may be made to the
GDIN Fund or, if approved by the Executive Committee or Annual
Conference, directly to any person or organization for approved
GDIN services or projects.
11.2 The fund
is divided into two parts - operations and projects. Operations
include all recurring GDIN expenses, such as costs of the
Annual Conference not borne by participants and the host,
costs of running the GDIN Secretariat, the Executive Director
and Information Facilitator positions, travel to GDIN events
by a limited number of essential experts, approved GDIN services,
and other recurring activities or services authorized by the
Annual Conference or the Funding Committee.
11.3 An annual
operating budget, designating the allocation of funds for
GDIN operations, is prepared by the Executive Director, in
consultation with the GDIN Fund Manager. It is submitted to
the Funding Committee for review and approval, based on directions
from the previous Annual Conference and the availability of
operating funds. The Committee evaluates the previous years
expenses for conformity with the budget.
11.4 The GDIN
Fund supports projects and Working Groups, to the extent that
funds are available in excess of those required for GDIN operations.
As much as possible, projects should be self-funded. Projects
and Working Groups are not generally funded by GDIN on a continuing
basis, although they may have a life in excess of one year.
Project proposals can be submitted to a Pilot Projects Facilitator
who ensures that the relevant Working Group(s) evaluate and
prioritize proposals. In addition, Pilot Projects can be initiated
by Working Groups on their own authority; but funding by GDIN
of Pilot Project cannot take place without available funds.
11.5 An accredited
professional Fund Manager will be contracted to manage and
administer the GDIN fund, as directed by the Funding Committee.
Duties of the fund manager include: fiscal management, fund
raising, and administrative support on financial matters for
the Executive Director and the Funding Committee. The Fund
Manager should also recommend processes for upkeep and growth
of the fund.
12.1 It is
anticipated that this Declaration will be changed from time
to time, as necessary. The processes is as follows:
the GDIN Conferences:
amendments to the Declaration are submitted to the GDIN
Executive Committee at least two months prior to the Conference.
- The Executive Committee
considers all proposals. It may endorse proposed amendments,
according to their appropriateness, based on the intent
of this Declaration.
- All proposed amendments,
together with the views of the Executive Committee,
are posted on the GDIN Web site at least one month prior
to the Annual Conference.
amendments are presented on the morning of day 1of the
Conference at a plenary session. This is followed by a
- A Drafting Committee
receives written suggested changes from Conference participants
until 5 pm on day 2 of the Conference.
- The Committee considers
all suggested changes and may modify the proposed amendments,
as they deem appropriate.
- Updated versions of the
amendments are provided to Conference participants on
the mornings of day 2 and day 3 of the Conference.
- The amendments are presented
at a plenary session on day 3 of the Conference.
- A consensus of Conference
participants indicates endorsement of the amendment.
amendments to this Declaration are submitted to the Policy
proposed amendments are made available to the GDIN membership
for comment for a period of 30 days.
- Best efforts to achieve
consensus will be made.
- If consensus is not achieved,
if the amendment is editorial in nature, the Policy
Committee will make a determination, or
if the amendment is substantive in nature, the amendment
will be referred to the next Annual Conference for a
- Proposed amendments to
operational procedures will be submitted to the Policy
Working Group for review and determination.
will be necessary to guide the management and daily operations
of GDIN. The Policy Working Group has been directed to develop
a set of By-laws for GDIN and submit them to the 2002 GDIN
Conference, where they will be reviewed, modified as necessary,
endorsed, and appended to this Declaration. Such elements
of this Declaration as are more appropriate to By-laws will
be transferred to the appended document