IDENTIFYING USERS’ REQUIREMENTS OF GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION FOR DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Keywords: User Requirements, Disaster Risk Management, Emergency Mapping, Geographic Information, Small Island Developing States, Caribbean Region, Dominican Republic
Abstract. In recent years, the growth of public available geographic information and location-based services has been enabling more stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to participate in generating and sharing a comprehensive view of the territory to reduce the impact of severe phenomena in the communities. With the prediction of more disastrous phenomena in the Caribbean region, understanding of what and how to be prepared beforehand to meet users’ needs from different sectors should facilitate to react quickly and take full advantage of geospatial technology and resources to support disaster managers and citizens. This paper is mainly focused on the identification of users’ requirements of geographic information and services for disaster risk management (DRM) in the Dominican Republic. The results are built upon an online survey targeted to expert and non-expert users that intervene in the National System of Prevention, Mitigation and Response (SN-PMR, in Spanish). Our findings revealed seven major users’ requirements for DRM: (1) policy for sharing geo-information; (2) implementing a disaster-oriented SDI; (3) technical standards for real-time data collection; (4) simplified procedures for gathering and accessing of metadata; (5) mobile applications (App) for data collection and alerts visualization; (6) more capacity building programs; and, (7) closer community participation using social networks. This knowledge will contribute to a superior level of readiness to prevent future disasters in Dominican Republic and to support potential studies/practices in the Caribbean region and other Small Island Developing States in the World, which share similar challenges in terms of natural hazards and development issues.