of the 1998 Washington Conference on The Global Disaster
Information Network (GDIN)
page contains the formal international report of the July
16/17, 1998 Meeting of Disaster Experts at the US Department
of State, Washington, DC., as drafted and voted on July
17. For background on the meeting, as well as documents
used to prepare participants, go to Background.
related conference will be held in May 1999 per a decision
of the 1998 meeting. Look for material in " Preparations
for 1999 Meeting of Disaster Experts." Mexico was chosen
for this conference. Turkey and Australia have also volunteered
to host conferences in 2000.
have published a list of participants
and others interested in the global phase of GDIN. 222
Disaster Experts and other officials attended the July 16/17
Meeting of Disaster Experts. In addition, we have developed
server and other products to both help participants
communicate with each other and to prepare
for the 1999 meeting. We are also publishing papers
submitted by participants.
the last day of the conference, a quorum of participants
agreed to the following conclusions, by voice vote.
of the July 1998 Washington GDIN Conference:
welcomed the US Initiative, noted there is a clear and
demonstrable need for a Global Disaster Information Network
and agreed that the concepts and approaches should be
further refined and developed, on a priority basis, with
a view to taking concrete steps on beginning to implement
such a network within the next year.
should operate as a broad global partnership involving
governments, international organizations, NGO's, academic
and research institutions, the media and other entities,
to include businesses and citizen groups, engaged in disaster
preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation at all
levels. This partnership should be as inclusive as possible.
a next step towards refining the concept, conference participants
agree to prepare a series of discussion papers exploring
in detail specific aspects of a possible GDIN.
will be posted on the Conference web site and list server,
open for comment and suggested changes.
experts will meet again early in 1999 to review the papers
formally and decide on concrete implementing measures.
for preparation of these discussion papers has been assigned
to specific participants in the Conference. They are encouraged,
to the extent possible, to form working groups of experts
to examine the assigned issue-areas, and otherwise to
consult widely among Conference participants.
United States Government, as the convening authority of
the Conferences, indicated preparedness to act as the
overall coordinator of these next steps. This will include
the posting of papers and comments on the Conference web
site and list server. US Department of State.
Managing the process will be Larry Winter Roeder, Jr,
MS, Policy Adviser on Disaster Managment.
are to be prepared on the following topics:
potential framework for GDIN defining its purpose, priorities,
and major elements. This would lead to formulation of
what would be, in essence, a draft strategic plan for
Canada and the US Department of State
and improving Internet linkages among existing disaster
databases, to ensure rapid and comprehensive connectivity
among sources and consumers of disaster information.
US GDIN Team
to be taken to help ensure the quality, reliability and
usability of information on GDIN.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance/ReliefWeb
better communication between providers and users and improving
understanding of each others' needs in the field of disaster
US Department of State
to integrate information from a variety of sources so
as to facilitate prompt and sound decision-making.
US GDIN Team
to make available to appropriate users critical information
from all possible sources. Lead responsibility.
US GDIN Team
to improve the flow of critical information to and from
disaster-prone regions with poor or disrupted communications
OCHA, Geneva and Pacific Grove Fire Department, Pacific
and description of regional pilot projects to demonstrate
the potential added value of GDIN in different parts of
the world, and to identify problems to be overcome.
US GDIN Team and US Department of State.
to standardize and harmonize disaster information on GDIN.
provision of disaster information to the general public
and the media.
University of Pittsburgh
For comments on this document, email Larry Roeder, Policy
Advisor on Disaster Management, IO/PPC, US Department of State, www.gdin.org
, email email@example.com