eBayanihan:Web based participatory disaster management system

About the case study

This case study provides a technology inclusive platform that allows the public to report disaster related information using a bottom up approach. The system includes a volunteer management system to address the need to provide information on various types of services and skills needed during the response phase of a disaster. This becomes a good community interface with the local government.

Reference Paper:
Regina M., Estuar J., Kaibara S. (2016): eBayanihan: Web based participatory disaster management system in Shaw R., Izumi T., Shi P., Lu L., Yang S., Ye Q. (2016): Asia Science Technology Status for Disaster Risk Reduction, published by IRDR, Future Earth and ASTAAG, Beijing, China, p. 86-87


It is argued in substantive literatures that Disaster Risk Reduction [DRR] is important and essential in local level. Almost 25 years back, Maskrey (1989) made strong arguments for community based approach in disaster management. After that, different literatures and cases of disasters documented, argued and advocated for risk management at the local level (Shaw 2012 ). However, the definition of local varies from authors, context and countries. Some people argue that anything below national can be termed as local, however, in some cases, it is the local level governments where the focus should be, and in other cases, it is the sub-city or village or community level, where the emphasis of the risk management should be. While policies can be made in the government level [at administrative level: either province or city], the practices need to be taken at the community and household levels. Thus, in defining the local DRM (disaster risk management), there needs to be a clear link between the local governments and local communities, irrespective of the country and context.


Participatory methods (RRA: Rapid Rural Appraisal, PRA: Participatory Rural Appraisal, PLA: Participatory Learning and Action, etc.) have been developed and used for a wide range of purposes during the last few decades. Many participatory methods have been adapted to local situations and used according to local needs. PCVA (Participatory Capacity and Vulnerability Assessment) has been a common practice in different parts of the world to facilitate the views of local communities. Some of the key tools are: Resource Map/ Hazard Map and Transect Walk; Historical Timeline and Long Term Trend Analysis etc.
Although the PCVA is intended as a community- based exercise, in many places it can be difficult to carry out the work without the approval of local government authorities. While this can present a challenge, it can also be an opportunity. Firstly, local officials can be useful key informants and can contribute to the PCVA sessions on Governance Analysis and other local knowledge. Secondly, it may help to increase government understanding of local issues and create better linkages between the community to the government for support in implementation of community action plans. Thus, for any sustainable community based initiatives, be it before, during or after a disaster, there is a strong need to community local government collaboration. Often, the local NGO (non government organization), local universities or local private sectors bridge this gap.

Approach / Stakeholder participation

In 2014, eBayanihan (, a web and mobile nationwide participatory disaster management system funded by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technologies Research and Development (PCIEERD), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Philippines, and SHEREPO, a web and mobile based application shelter reporting system which captures and maps human security variables began with feasibility study of integrating human dimension and human security in a disaster management system, merging the two systems through the JRAPID Program, through the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).
eBayanihan provides a technology inclusive platform that allows the public to report disaster related information using a bottom up approach. The system includes a volunteer management system to address the need to provide information on various types of services and skills needed during the response phase of a disaster.
eBayanihan changes the way we respond to disasters by letting our voices be heard by the ones who can truly help. The eBayanihan system serves as framework for posting, processing, modeling, analyzing, visualizing and curating information related to disaster.
eBayanihan empowers every citizen towards a more resilient community. Following are the key features of eBayanihan.

Figure Key features of eBayanihan (source:

The system has embedded SHEREPO to add the needed additional feature of providing near real time information on the human security variables, namely: food, water, clothing, shelter, sanitation and safety. The system has a notification feature that provides direct notification to persons and agencies managing the response clusters.

Figure. Screenshots on how to report a disaster

The system has been developed using an agile approach, incorporating features through modules and web services. The system serves as a base platform or an engine that can be modified to integrate or work with other similar systems, as tested during the 2015 Typhoon Lando (Koppu) where it has been made interoperable with Project AGOS of Rappler. Aside from data capture, the system also uses statistical and machine learning algorithms in modeling validation of crowd sourced reports, thematizing, visualization and reporting. The system is developed using open source technologies.

Figure. Screenshots of usage of eBayanihan


The project is an example of a multidisciplinary approach in solving a very complex problem such as disaster management. Initial approaches in disaster mitigation are single dimension, e.g. based on hazards. Inclusion of human dimension and human security provides information on resiliency or vulnerability status of a certain location. This integrated approach strengthens disaster management and mitigation as it provides a system that facilitates a two- way approach in the flow of disaster information. The system, designed as a social networking platform specifically for disaster, is designed to be dynamic, sustainable and scalable.


This case provides a unique participatory platform for sharing local information from the communities, which can be used in different ways of decision-making: during, before or after a disaster.

1.Maria Regina, Justina E. Estuar, Ateneo de Manila University, Manila, Philippines and Sakiko Kanbara, University of Kochi, Kochi, Japan
2.Maskrey A. (1989): Disaster Mitigation: A Community-based Approach. Oxfam, Oxford
3.Shaw, R. (2012a): Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction, Emerald Publisher, UK, 402 pages