Box commits to helping revolutionize the way disaster relief NGOs mobilize resources and operate to meet their missions by implementing an approach with four distinct elements that results in at least three specialized deployments of Box and its partners tools and services for use by NGOs. Box specializes in file sharing and personal cloud content management service for businesses, and it will utilize this expertise in addressing challenges in disaster relief.
Through the Learn pillar, Box will team with NGOs to understand what technology innovations are needed by the relief sector. Box will partner initially on this work with relief organizations Team Rubicon and Operation Hope, as well as with Start Networks and NetHope, both of which are communities of NGOs and supporters working collaboratively in disaster relief. To connect with these partners, Box will convene special partner summits at its headquarters and attend NGO member community summits and industry events hosted by others.
Through the Build pillar, Box and other cloud tech partners will team up to deliver proto-types and tech solutions, at either no cost or at the lowest cost possible, that address the needs of the disaster relief sector as identified through the Learn pillar. For example, a portal that enables greater collaboration between relief organizations and their volunteers or the digitization of disaster-readiness training programs.
Through the Share pillar, Box and partners will share the technology (lines of code) and best practices (trainings, tool-kits) with NGO member communities and NGOs, allowing the broader sector to benefit from the innovations generated and enabling a scalability of impact. This will be accomplished online through the Box.org website, NetHope, sites and various code exchanges, and offline, through trainings at tech events like BoxDev and partners annual summits.
Through the Fund pillar, Box will encourage all partners involved to offer low-bono or pro-bono products and services, offer NGO funding opportunities to their community, and update the funding community by e-mail or in-person convenings.
In preparation for the launch of this commitment, Box conducted the following activities prior to September 2015. These activities supported and enabled both relationship development with key commitment partners and learning about the needs of the disaster response community.
- Developed relationships with NetHope and Start Networks to enable their use of donated Box content management and collaboration tools; provided oneon-one pro-bono coaching to IT admins at both orgs.
- Traveled to London to meet with Start Networks and their members.
- Launched a Nepal Response Fund that raises money for NGOs that use Box working in Nepal.
- Start discussions with at least three funders or in-kind providers regarding disaster innovation.
- Attend CGIs disaster relief community event in NOLA August 27th
- Conduct one-on-one conversations with key NGOs about their goals and content innovation needs in their relief work.
- Finalize a proto-type portal that will equip Team Rubicons 30,000 member veteran volunteer base to succeed before, during, and after disaster and present it to their leadership team.
- Host a partner summit with Team Rubicon and five cloud technology partners at Box HQ to advance the co-development of a content portal for disaster volunteers.
- Share this work with the press and over 5000 attendees of Box annual user event called BoxWorks in Sept.
- With CodeScience and cloud partners, deploy an extension of the Box platform that helps Team Rubicon manage and measure first responder volunteers.
- Include a funding appeal for the Box Nepal Recovery Fund benefiting five NGOs who use Box for their disaster relief work in multiple e-mail campaigns.
- Share learnings from the work online and at the NetHope Summit in Copenhagen Nov 2-6.
- Inform funders about the work by way of e-mail or an in-person convening.
Jan- June 2016:
- Pursue and execute two or more projects with other interested NGOs.
- Share code and tools via Box and NGO member communitys online and offline channels.
- Post learning and code packages to online exchanges from which NGOs can download.
- Continue to keep funders aware of the work. Getting them more actively involved as appropriate.
- Pursue & execute two or more projects with other interested NGOs.
- Continue all activities undertaken in Jan-June 2016.
When disasters strike, every minute counts. Inefficiencies in both resource mobilization and operational response put lives at risk. Inefficient use of technology during resiliency and recovery phases compounds the problem even further.
In especially challenging years like 2011, more than two hundred million people are affected by natural disasters. Relief organizations struggle to manage, collaborate on, and share information with internal and external stakeholders like volunteer responders in an efficient and secure way before, during, and after life endangering disasters.
Disaster relief organizations are rarely able to use new technologies optimally due to financial, IT-resource, and internet connectivity constraints. When these resources are used optimally, they often serve only internal staff members content management needs. They often break down, however, when extended to external stakeholders like first responder or resiliency training volunteer groups. More complex stakeholder partnering models offer even more content (knowledge) management and sharing challenges. These challenges dramatically reduce the efficacy of partnerships and their broader resiliency, response, and recovery outcomes.
According to Munich RE, natural disaster cost the world $110 billion in 2014. In order to ensure the best utilization of these funds, relief organizations and their partners must be equipped with well-deployed and utilized systems, creating more efficient and effective ways to serve people and save lives.
Funding for NGO responders to invest with cloud system integrators in multi -vendor cloud solution deployments (with support from the cloud platform partners involved in this commitment) would be welcomed and appreciated.
Box offers: Eligible NGOs access (donated and discounted) to its platform, disaster relief industry informed innovations (code and applications) and insight into the learnings associated with building and deploying them, skilled volunteering, introductions to Box technology peers in Silicon Valley, introductions or partnerships with Box clients from all sectors, small grants or sponsorships to NGOs if the partnership furthers Box social / employee & business objectives, share of voice (co-PR) opportunities, broader organizational innovation or scale mentoring from Box executives and the Box community, public speaking resources, and revenue opportunities for the technology partners offering their products and services associated with this work.