By: Patrick Xu, Harvard University. This blog post was originally published by Local Interventions Group.
Austin Wu, a fellow Statistics concentrator and good friend, and I devised a senior research project based off of our existing interests: can we study how data has been used in the disaster relief process, and how data can effectively improve and eventually optimize disaster relief? Given the intensity of damage of Nepal’s most recent earthquake disasters, as well as the coincidental timing, Austin and I began to reach out to NGOs delivering aid in Nepal to begin to build a narrative of how data can be used to aid in the disaster relief process. After a string of emails, we were put in contact with Pranav Budhathoki and Narayan Adhikari, and we arranged an agreement for Austin and I to help with a 5-day analytics project for their two organizations. Now, nearing the end of the project, we reflect on what has been an incredibly positive experience.
Swamped with survey data, Patrick trying to figure out work, and life in general too we suppose!
We met early on our first day to discuss the project, and we were warmly greeted by a number of the members of the team. Pranav detailed the “Follow the Money” questions within the surveys, and he tasked us to analyze those questions to the best of our ability.
This hands-off approach remained a consistent theme throughout our stay at LIG, as Pranav always opened himself up to questions, but allowed us to figure out and analyze what we deemed most important. Read More…