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GDIN Funding

I. Genesis and Overview of the GDIN Fund Concept

The GDIN Fund has been created to support the larger mission of the GDIN, to study new ways of providing disaster information, to pay for basic operations, or to provide economically challenged disaster managers with information that they cannot otherwise afford. All of this is intended to also support the basic mission of providing or helping others to provide operational disaster related information anywhere in the world, where and when it is needed, in the right format for effective mitigation, preparedness and response.

The GDIN fund (which exists under US Federal law as a 501(c)(3) fund) was fiorst called for at GDIN1999 in Mexico, and its need was confirmed at GDIN2000 in Ankara, Turkey and at GDIN2001 in Canberra, Australia.  GDIN Fund is now fully integrated into the corporation.  However, because GDIN was in its formative stages in 1999, GDIN management chose to fund GDIN operations through in-kind contributions and direct payment for services. Those methods will continue; however, as of GDIN2002 in Rome, Italy, GDIN also expects to fill the fund and begin paying for services itself.

The current fund, which anyone can now contribute to, is supported by public and private sector resources, to develop improved approaches to disaster management based on new and emerging technologies. Further, the GDIN planners are inclined to have the GDIN Fund support certain core operating functions of GDIN, in addition to the new and emerging technology program. The core operating functions would be some basic administrative services (such as maintenance of the GDIN website, support to the GDIN Executive Director, Information Specialist(s), and other officers, and support for GDIN meetings). Another core operating function would be administration of the GDIN Fund itself, which would involve fiscal management and fund raising.

II. Why the GDIN Fund Is Important

Annual global economic costs related to disaster events average over $440 billion per year and are rising. In the United States natural disasters cost an average of more than $1 billion per week. Technological innovation, the internet, GIS technology, data collection methodologies, communications systems, is causing a fundamental change in the disaster information paradigm. New technology has been identified as a foundation for addressing needs. A report from the United States government, called Harnessing Information and Technology for Disaster Management, asserts that "The explosive growth of new technologies provides unprecedented new opportunities and capabilities for the disaster manager." The report concludes that users are reassessing their needs in light of these new capabilities.

Clearly, the ability to identify, assess, and disseminate knowledge about new and emerging technologies is vitally important to the disaster management community. Critical as it is, however, the first challenge for the GDIN is creation of the organizational structure to network together the wealth of information that already exists.

The GDIN Fund represents a mechanism to support certain administrative functions critical to establishing and maintaining an organization capable of networking existing information and providing comprehensive information support to disaster managers. In addition, the GDIN Fund represents a means to allow the international disaster community to examine new technologies and systematically and rapidly take advantage of loss reducing and life saving tools, and to educate relevant players about new technologies and their usefulness.

Without the GDIN Fund, the international disaster community has the marketplace as the primary source of information about technologies. For many with disaster management responsibilities, the pell mell of the marketplace constitutes an ineffective way to discover solutions to critical needs and presents a barrier to the adoption of improved practices. With major advances taking place every day in fields such as remote sensing, telecommunications, and computing, the need for the GDIN Fund is considerable.

Preliminary Proposal for GDIN Fund Infrastructure

This Section describes how the GDIN Fund would operate, including the scope of its objectives and organizational features.

  • (1) Overview

    The GDIN Fund is a charitable endowment for humanitarian purposes. The fundamental concept is to raise financial support from private sector entities, with possible contributions from public sources, for the purposes outlined in the Mission paragraph immediately below.

    The GDIN Fund is an integral part of the GDIN corporation, a 501(c)(3) charity.  The Fund looks to the public and private sector for resource contributions, and engages a mix of private and public sector representatives in its management. 

  • (2) Mission

    The GDIN Fund seeks to reduce disaster costs through the maintenance of certain core functions of the GDIN, and the sponsorship of GDIN projects that focus on the value of new and emerging technologies to the international disaster community.

    The purpose of the GDIN Fund is to support the GDIN corporation generally, and to identify, assess, and disseminate knowledge about new and emerging technologies of vital importance to disaster mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery, and to allow the international community to systematically and rapidly take advantage of loss reducing and life saving tools.

  • (3) GDIN Projects Supported by the GDIN Fund

    The GDIN Fund is geared toward sponsoring activity-based projects with reportable results and to help economically challenged disaster managers. The role of technology to disaster management is so pervasive that there are numerous ways in which information about technology can assist disaster managers, as well as numerous ways technology developers, service providers, and users can beneficially interact. The GDIN Fund's project focus is on technology testing and evaluation through applied projects.

    The GDIN Fund's Project Program will initially support two areas of activities. Additional activities may be introduced in the future.

    • (a) Technology Demonstrations

      The conduct of formal exercises to demonstrate the capabilities of new technologies in the context of real or simulated events. The purpose of technology demonstrations is to measure the value of a particular technology to some aspect of disaster management, and to report the findings to the international disaster management community.

    • (b) Technology Roadmap of Requirements vs. Capabilities

      Identify those technology advances that are most responsive to pressing disaster management needs. A disaster management technology roadmap will be developed and regularly updated that will prioritize user requirements and match them against existing and emerging technology solutions.

      The roadmap will serve three purposes. First, it will reveal and prioritize inadequacies in disaster management practices which could be addressed by technology solutions. (Various roadmaps will have to be developed to address the conditions in specific regions of the world). Second, it will inform technology developers where there are user requirements for which new products and services are most keenly needed. Third, it will instruct the GDIN Fund as to its own "investment strategy" in future projects.>

Organizational Structure

The GDIN Fund is overseen by a GDIN Fund Director and the Board of Directors.  Potential major donors should contact gdinfund@gdin.org.

Legal Structure

GDIN Fund is an integral part of GDIN corporation.