Fiji Red Cross Society and Magpi Announce Expansion of Satellite Communication Capabilities to Support Response Efforts

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Technology from leading satellite communication innovators already making an impact following massive cyclone

Fiji Red Cross Responds to Cyclone Winston with RAMP Phones Using Mobile Data Collection

Fiji Red Cross Responds to Cyclone Winston

This is an advancement that allows us to extend our critical communications beyond the horizon

The Fiji Red Cross Society (FRCS) today announced a pilot project to expand the use of RAMP (Rapid Mobile Phones), a Magpi-based mobile data collection application for disaster response and management efforts. This initiative, in partnership with a consortium of technology innovators for disaster response, is designed to enable communication and survey data transmission in areas with no connectivity.

In the wake of Cyclone Winston, reported to be the worst storm ever recorded in the South Hemisphere, dozens of RAMP devices equipped with Magpi’s data collection software were secured by the New Zealand Red Cross and FRCS to provide full communications flexibility and help as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

The centerpiece of this initiative is a new software system called Succinct Data, which works with Magpi - an existing mobile data collection system - to enable FRCS team members to send surveys immediately to their colleagues who will then respond in real-time. These forms will capture data that details a natural disaster’s impact so that assistance is both timely and appropriate.

“This is an advancement that allows us to extend our critical communications beyond the horizon,” said Filipe Nainoca, Director General of FRCS. “We can now send information back immediately about what we need and where we need it which can ultimately help save lives through more effective response.”

Succinct Data is a collaboration between New Zealand Red Cross, Australia’s Flinders University, the Serval Project Inc., and VasTerra, a low-profit humanitarian assistance company. Magpi, established in 2003, was one of the first mobile data collection technology companies in existence and now has over 50,000 users in 170 countries.

“This is a culmination of several years of effort with our Succinct Data partners,” said Matthew Lloyd, of the New Zealand Red Cross and on behalf of Succinct Data.

This initiative will pair DeLorme’s affordable mobile satellite communicator - inReach - with any Android phone, smartphone or tablet loaded with Magpi's survey app. As a result, even from the most remote locations that may lack WiFi or cellular service any of these devices will allow users the capability to communicate.

“As proud supporters of FRCS’ implementation of mobile data collection technology, we are excited that this innovative technology from DeLorme combined with Succinct Data’s expertise will expand broad reach communication to even the most remote areas of Fiji to facilitate emergency response in situations like Cyclone Winston, and potentially save lives,” said Rose Donna, COO and co-founder of Magpi.

The solution will allow for people globally to work confidently, knowing they can access important survey results and information immediately, and provides FRCS with the support necessary to accelerate a recovery.

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Facundo Alberdi
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