California: Direct Relief, a global humanitarian medical aid organization with partnerships in all 50 US states and more than 70 countries, was honored with the Esri President”s Award for outstanding geographic information system (GIS) work in improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty, disaster, and civil unrest. The award was presented Esri International User Conference in San Diego, California.
Since 2007, the nonprofit organization has pioneered the use of GIS in informing, mobilizing, targeting, and delivering humanitarian medical assistance to areas and people in need. Direct Relief has integrated GIS and spatial analysis into a broad range of essential roles, including the identification of health condition patterns and medical needs, complex logistical management and project evaluation, and transparent public reporting regarding financial and medical material assistance.
Recent projects reflect the breadth of geospatial technology throughout the organization. Following the tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma, Direct Relief used GIS to monitor the real-time movement of sensitive aid materials. In another effort, it partnered with the United Nations Population Fund and the Fistula Foundation to create the world”s first map of the distribution of surgical services for obstetric fistula. It is also working to spatially enable the public health laboratory system in Ethiopia.