2014 Da Vinci Award Recipients

Humanity Road’s Da Vinci medal is awarded to a patron or contributor who gave much-needed support to Humanity Road’s programs. Through donations in kind or contributions, they have helped mold, shape and support the organization. We are pleased to announce the Humanity Road board of directors’ two Da Vinci Award honorees for 2014: Statistics without Borders and Young Pioneer Disaster Response.

Young Pioneer Disaster Response is a Philippine organization, founded in 2013 after Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda). They implement innovative and sustainable responses to disasters and post-disaster rehabilitation, working to help communities recover quickly and build back more resiliently than before. After Typhoon Hagupit (locally known as Ruby) struck the Philippines on December 6, 2014, Humanity Road picked up a single tweet from a relative of someone in Santa Rita; as of December 8th, no aid had reached that community. Santa Rita is a municipality with a population of about 30,000 and is located in Western Samar in the Eastern Visayas.

On a good day it is just a 40 minute drive from Tacloban. It seemed unlikely that this community was underserved, but in reviewing multiple information sources, we found an absence of any reported aid being provided to the community. After relaying a request to YPDR, the organization took immediate action and deployed resources into Santa Rita. Humanity Road was then notified on December 13th that assessments were underway in Santa Rita and sadly the damage is quite severe and the need there is great.

We are grateful for the support provided by the staff and volunteers of the Young Pioneer Disaster Response team for their rapid response to our request to deploy to Santa Rita to assess the situation. For its assistance in partnership with Humanity Road during a large scale disaster in 2014, the Board of Directors have selected YPDR as a recipient of the Da Vinci Award.

Statistics Without Borders is an apolitical organization under the auspices of the American Statistical Association, comprised entirely of volunteers. SWB provides pro-bono statistical consulting and assistance to organizations and government agencies to support these organizations’ not-for-profit efforts to deal with international health issues.

Transformation through innovation is possible through discovering, testing and leveraging digital humanitarian and technology partners. Today, we are recognizing Statistics without Borders for their work in coauthoring and publishing the “Guide to Social Media Emergency Management Analytics”, a helpful tool for emergency managers and decision-makers. This guide helps them identify and discuss relevant questions when planning their SMEM response. We wish to thank them for all their help in performing the data study and in contributing to this important guidebook. We also wish to express our thanks to Kara Pisklak with SparksGrove, a division of NorthHighland, for assisting with the presentation and design.

Improved disaster response requires a broad front, and that includes our valued partners. “It is through such collaboration that we are able to improve the chain of care. We are delighted to honor these organizations with the 2014 Humanity Road Da Vinci award,” says Chris Thompson, President of Humanity Road.