Snippets of my world of humanitarian data and the people processes, successes and challenges that lie ahead

IMG_0331time rushes by, and rarely stays still

Humanitarian crisis and disasters grow in size and frequency at a pace that is surprisingly dwarfed by the swirling sea of humanitarian data. The expectations that we all have for data and its use in effective decision-making, accountable actions and durable change are daunting but a necessary pressure to change the system we are in.

I rarely finish a blogpost from crisis to crisis or from ER shift to ER shift. I’m currently post overnight from a very very busy shift –  one that reminds me of why I live for and enjoy the uncertainty of high acuity situations. But this is the time for me to finally hit the publish button on the series of blog posts suspended in draft format that I have written over the past couple years.

I hope this will be an opportunity to reflect upon, pull, and share snippets of my streams of thought on humanitarian data, information management, people, politics and progress.

I hope that a slice of my world will spark conversations across communities. For there is much learning we all need to do— to make this world a better place

Wed thought of the day

The power of story to collaborate and cross understand context is frequently unrecognized. Unintentionally expecting people to learn your discipline, meet your lexicon and adopt ways of thinking before meeting in the middle can be lead to delayed understanding  & adoption. If we want to focus on the user, it might help to put ourselves in their shoes and begin the story from that point.

“War torn” Chicago – a brief view from an ER doc & humanitarian in Chicago 

This is my first time making a commentary re politics on my blog. I didn’t anticipate a venture down this pathway but I do think it’s important to speak up about our ideas during this election cycle. Whatever views we have- the conversation is important. Because the deep-seated problems that we have are pressing and its important to for us to make progress toward a better country of people moving forward in a global world.

In last night’s debate, the Republican candidate Donald Trump referenced violence in  Chicago with his statement/question “Is this a war-torn country?” We are not in a “war torn country” here in Chicago. As an ER doc who works in a level 1 Chicago trauma center (although neither the most busy nor the most acute one IMHO) and a humanitarian,  this is a gross example of the lack of understanding of a potential future leader re the differences and similarities between the challenges that we face here in Chicago and the conflict spaces around the world.

Our future leader should know and be able to contextualize – and specify- the similarities and differences between violence, vulnerability, the direct and indirect consequences of protracted conflict/ war vs protracted violence domestically and globally. And what this means for the human dignity of all those involved- individual, community and beyond.

Serving those affected by conflict and protracted urban violence is hard and unbelievably complex – and we will keep moving forward regardless of the rhetoric. We need help both locally and globally, and the right people to help us along the way. We should expect no less and advocate for more. Because those we serve- deserve it and have a right to safety, dignity and fruitful lives moving forward.

Friday’s thought of the day

although we may write about breaking down silos as academics about the spaces we study and explore, how well are we breaking down silos amongst our interdisciplinary colleagues and institutions. Easier to urge others to change

rather than ourselves sometimes.

Those of us who have been referred by fellow academics as a practitioner and by some practitioners as an academics. 

Let’s de-silo for a moment and consider the cadre of similar folks to be recognized as both as an option.

Onward Ho… in the world of grey

because realty is just that…

Change can also happen in the space of grey whether society is ready to recognize that tides may be changing