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The Unprecedented Role of SMS in Disaster Response: Learning from Haiti


The purpose of this paper is to critically analyze the use of text messaging and crisis mapping in disaster response by drawing on Haiti as a case study. We first describe the design and deployment of the system. Next we outline what worked and did not work. We then consider the organizational and institutional implications of this response and articulate some policy recommendations. Finally, we outline the need for an SMS Code of Conduct for Disaster Response and propose one for consideration by the humanitarian community.