The massacre and atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7th jarred many to the core, causing feelings of overwhelm as to how to best respond. We all witnessed barbaric behaviors like we have never experienced before. As a result of these heinous attacks, both Jewish and Palestinian civilians are now suffering unimaginable pain. Thousands of people’s lives are devastated, and the humanitarian relief needs in Israel and Gaza are immense and grow larger each day.
This dire situation has focused our attention on the fact that, even with the best of intentions to help, we are often hampered and blocked by a lack of organized and coordinated informational systems. We tend to react and jump into solution mode, especially in times of crises, and wind up working in silos, waste resources by duplicating effort, and leave many needs unaddressed. We do not have a comprehensive and coherent map that makes visible who needs what, where, and how much so that the resources we have can be instantly matched with and delivered to those who need them most.
It is clear that to meaningfully address this and future complex humanitarian crisis and disasters, we need to evolve new organizational communication processes and visual information systems that can most efficiently identify and distribute the available resources to the local communities. It’s time to leap into new levels of transparency, cooperation, coordination and trust to ensure our ability to alleviate suffering as efficiently and effectively as possible, now and for the future.