A two hour web conference involving CanVOST supporters was held on Wednesday August 1st. The purpose of this article is to provide a few highlights from the web conference to show that good progress is being made in developing the CanVOST concept and to encourage other potential stakeholders and interested individuals to become involved. Details will be provided later in minutes of the web conference.
Key highlights arising from discussion during the CanVOST web conference:
- The CanVOST concept is timely in that it aligns well with initiatives being undertaken by various levels of government, national organizations involved in supporting emergency management and academic and research studies
- These is sufficient energy and resources to start developing a Canadian virtual operations Support Team without first seeking funding to evaluate the concept, issues, support etc.
- In parallel with the above volunteer development of CanVOST, a formal project which involves key emergency management stakeholders will be considered to identify and address policy issues, concept of operations, user support, recommended next steps.
- At an appropriate point in time the above two initiatives will likely merge into one
- Identified CanVOST supporters are well linked into similar projects worldwide which will enable CanVOST to benefit from other's work, best practicves etc.
- CanVOST can benefit significantly from using the communication and collaboration tools provided within PTSC-Online to advance development of the concept and share information with interested stakeholders and supporters through the CanVOST blogs, discussion forums and wiki. PTSC-Online members, viewers and those who follow on its social media channels are a significant resource.
- Integration with other programs such as MASAS, Red Cross social media training, and crowdsourcing initiatives may strengthen the concept
- A multi level approach to security and training should provide required safeguards and still enable participation from a wide range of volunteers
- Key tasks CanVOST can provide includes basic social media listening / monitoring for increased situational awareness, engaging in supportive on line discussion and curating and analyzing social media traffic for better visualization and situational awareness