GIS – 12 September, 2018: The findings of the research project entitled ‘A Mass Media Communication System Using Mobile Voice Technology for Information Dissemination during a Disaster situation in Mauritius’ were presented today during a seminar organised by the Mauritius Research Council (MRC) at Ebène Cyber-city.
The presentation of the research findings was made by Mr R K Moloo of the Faculty of Information and Communication Digital Technologies, at the University of Mauritius. The research project was funded under MRC Unsolicited Research and Innovation Grant scheme.
The project comprised the development of a mass media communication or early warning system using voice technology. It has been developed in collaboration with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre (NDRRMC) and provides a simple and effective technology-based solution to prepare and warn vulnerable population groups well in advance in case of disasters, hence minimising casualties.
The early warning system via voice technology is accessible to everyone through phone calls without the need of higher-end phones and internet connectivity. Within minutes, the system can be deployed to mass call a particular vulnerable group through its user-friendly web interface. Valuable reports/statistics can also be retrieved giving the percentage of people who received the calls, hence showing the effectiveness of the response.
The findings indicate that conclusive results have been obtained, especially in terms of the acceptance of such new technology by the targeted population. The system was tested on various Community Disaster Response Teams provided by the NDRRMC as well as amongst planters and fishermen in Mauritius and Agaléga.
Results show that voice calling is an active and immediate tool to warn vulnerable groups compared to SMS messages/Mobile App notifications, which are passive.
Around 94% of the persons called answered their phones immediately, suggesting an enhanced reach out of the system compared to others. Surveyed population unanimously agreed on the importance of such a system and provided valuable inputs in enhancing the system.
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