Information management, emergencies and disasters in CRICS

The Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief is participating in and supporting the Ninth Regional Congress on Health Sciences Information—CRICS9—that will be held at the Pan American Health Organization’s headquarters, in Washington, D.C., from 22-24 October 2012. Aspects related to emergencies and disasters will also be included in the agenda of the Congress.

There will be two panels on the topic of information, emergencies and disasters. In the first panel, "Information management in emergencies and disasters: from one way communication to social media," a general panorama on the situation and advances of information management in emergencies and disasters will be presented, as well as the new role of social media, its opportunities and challenges.

In the second panel, "Experiences and tools for information management in emergencies and disasters," different experiences and tools for information management in emergencies and disasters will be presented, as well as the increasingly more important role of information managers in this field. These include a guide that explains the role of information centers in the response to emergencies and disasters will be presented; a U.S. initiative to educate library and information sciences students on the management of disaster and emergency situations; a network of disaster-related information centers working to improve access to information in Latin America (the RELACIGER network); and the new PAHO Knowledge Center on Public Health and Disasters.

In addition, at the 5th Plenary Session on Capacity Development, there will be a conference by Alexander Solis, the assistant coordinator of the Emergencies Institutional Program of the Costa Rican Social Security (CCSS), who is representing the Foundation for the Coordination of Information Resources for Disaster Prevention (FUNDACRID).

Just before the Congress, the PAHO Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief will participate in the 6th Regional Coordination Meeting of the Virtual Library of Health (BVS), a forum for the exchange of experiences and knowledge between the network of institutions that produce information, the intermediaries and the users of scientific and technical health information in the BVS. In this session disaster specialists will explain ways in which the BVS can contribute to improve the access to information and knowledge in this field.

The RELACIGER Network, also at CRICS

Fourteen members of the Latin American Risk Management Information Center Network (RELACIGER) from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru will also be attending CRICS.

The aim of this international network is to reduce the occurrence and impact of disasters in the Region, through the strengthening of the national capacities for the collection, systematization, and dissemination of technical, educational and scientific information about disasters.

The members of the network attending CRICS will take advantage of their time in Washington D.C. to hold a meeting of the network orientated to exchanging information regarding the projects that are being carried out, as well as the future of the network.

To see the program of the Congress, please visit: