Ensuring the safety and security of sites in 137 countries around the world is a formidable task, especially when many of those locations are in some of the world’s least stable and most vulnerable locations. Since 1949, SOS Children’s Villages has worked to safeguard children and protect their rights in some of the world’s most challenging places. Its care, educations, and health services support hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children and their families in and around the SOS Children’s Villages every year.
The service of maintaining safe environments for at-risk children is often compounded by the risks of natural and manmade disasters that affect many of the regions in which SOS Children’s Villages operates. SOS Children’s Villages has a permanent Global Emergency Response (GER) Team, based at its HQ in Austria. That team’s role is to monitor any emerging risks, from severe weather events to political unrest, then to deliver the appropriate support and resources to ensure the safety of its staff and beneficiaries on the ground. To accomplish its goals, access to timely, accurate, and detailed information is vital.
In 2016, SOS Children’s Villages introduced a new online platform to support its risk management and response efforts, Everstream Analytics. The NGO uses a number of different features of the Everstream platform, some of which were standard elements of the solution and others which were specially developed to meet the particular needs of SOS Children’s Villages.
The backbone of the platform is a geographical model encompassing every program site in the SOS Children’s Villages complex network. That visibility provides the GER Team with a graphical view of each location along with the location of critical infrastructure such as utilities, hospitals, and transport links. The model also acts as a central repository for risk-related information, including historical natural catastrophe data and storing information and reports provided by the organization’s local and regional staff.
For each point in the network, Everstream Risk Assessment combines data from multiple public and proprietary sources to provide an overview of more than 35 different risk categories. That information helps the NGO with its contingency planning and strategic risk management efforts, allowing it to focus its attention on the most significant risks in each location. Everstream also helps the organization to identify emerging situations that may have implications for its sites. The platform’s Risk Monitoring service tracks traditional and social media, along with multiple other data sources, and alerts national and regional offices and the GER Team to events in relevant locations.