WP1 aims to provide continuous monitoring of ethical considerations in the course of the iTRACK project. The work package will be led by TRI who have extensive experience and expertise in ethical conduct involving human subjects. This WP will involve close liaison with project management (WP10), and all technical WPs. The focus within this WP is on:
Continuously assessing the ethical stance and activities of the iTRACK consortium
WP2 analyses workflows and processes in the areas Humanitarian Information Management (IM), Logistics, and Coordination. Technology can only have an impact if it is implemented and actually used. Therefore, research in this WP is related to establishing Information Management principles and protocols that enable sensemaking and decision-making for improved protection of humanitarian civilians and assets. In the first phase, this project will start with an analysis of current workflows and processes, systems, and IM principles. iTRACK will provide a solid taxonomy of current approaches and solutions, as well as existing gaps. From there, user and technical requirements will be derived that provide the grounding for all technical innovation and integration. In the integration and evaluationphases (Phase 2 and 3), this WP develops policies and guidance on how the iTRACK solution shall be embedded into humanitarian practice. To this end, this WP builds on methods from information systems, organisational theory, and humanitarian logistics.
The aim of WP3 is to conduct an ethical and privacy impact assessment of the iTRACK system, including an examination of issues relating to data protection, and socio-cultural considerations for future developments in this area. Core objectives include:
Review the practicalities of conducting the impact assessment during the project's lifecycle in order to improve the approach for future activities.
The main aim of WP4 is to develop the architecture and implement the iTRACK platform by integrating implemented components developed in WP5.
The WP will start with the development of the service based architecture and design specification of the iTRACK platform to integrate the individual results from WP2 and WP5. The system architecture is a modularised blueprint for the platform’s construction, detailing how the software components will be put together and deployed. The aim of the architecture is to facilitate the initial design and development of the platform, by providing detailed enumeration, specification, and means of validation to ensure that each component meets the needs of other components or actors using them. This entails:
On the basis of the architecture, the iTRACK platform will be implemented by integrating prior implemented components (see WP5), thus delivering it as a usable platform for performing the evaluations. Subsequently, the iTRACK platform will be tested and improved with regard to each individual component and also with regard to their integration. During the whole software development and integration process highest quality and standards will be assured.
This WP is in charge of developing, implementing and testing the constituting collective intelligence components that are input to WP4 for integration, verification, testing and consolidation of the final iTRACK system.
Each of the above mentioned components are described in the following tasks, representing the building blocks of iTRACK system and providing innovative feature as outlined in the ambitions of iTRACK
WP6 facilitates the collective innovation process of iTRACK. We will use the consortium’s expertise in training of humanitarian responders, and create a learning environment that builds on their capacity as well as dedicated training facilities and tools. Rather than decoupling development and testing or evaluation, this WP develops a methodology and platform for the co-design and continuous improvement of tools and policies. As such, WP6 provides the theoretical and practical underpinning for conducting the pilots in WP7.
This approach comprises (i) construction of high quality simulation methodology and scenarios that are targeted towards the aims of the users; (ii) co-design and continuous improvement of technologies, policies and procedures for sensemaking and decision support at various levels, (iii) iterative testing, evaluating and appropriating the tools produced in iTRACK.
WP6 underpins our understanding of innovation: technology can only add value to civilian humanitarian missions if it meets the requirements and respects the practices of humanitarian responders. We believe that the users should not adapt to the tools; rather tools need to respect the context and organisational culture, in which processes and decisions are embedded. We embrace this two-fold knowledge transfer and establish an iterative procedure of testing and learning. We advance the state-of-the art approach in scenario development and planning by creating module-based simulation cases and environments that enable an evaluation of tools and their orchestration in a large-scale humanitarian disaster. This two-fold approach will be supported by a framework for impactevaluation (technological and organisational perspective) and providing lessons learned to the users including guidelines for further simulations.
The innovative solutions will be tested by humanitarian end-users by means of the iTRACK simulations and games before, during and after full system development in WP4 to foster continuous improvements. The project consortium’s ambition is to renew the way project innovation management involves users by having three cycles of gaming/simulation and feedback, along with flexible methods for scenario design and rapid evaluation developed in WP6. We are going to create an ecosystem where R&D and training of humanitarian responders are not separated but engaged in a process of co-creation.
The layered approach of simultaneous training and testing, using first a board game, then a computer-based simulation, and as last step a training in a real environment, supports the goal of identifying the needs of the end-users, allows for active participation, and serves as adapted training system for end-users. The main educational effect of simulation games is based on "learning by doing". The simulations, which imitate and simplify reality, provide a possibility for experiencing real life: decision-making under uncertainty and time pressure with insufficient or sometimes even faulty information. It is believed that for being successful, iTRACK has to go beyond the instrumental goal of making available simulation training tools, but has to embed these in a realistic and challenging context that promotes a sense of immersion, responsibilityand ownership. For achieving this, game-based simulations based on the scenarios from WP5, will be used in a layered approach of different reality levels of the simulations. To facilitate reflection and learning, the most important results will be provided in rapid evaluations (T6.5). The modularity of the scenarios that can be re-used by end users, and the training guidelines developed will foster the sustainability of learning. The game-based simulations allow for collecting rich data sets on (i) and the usefulness and usability of the iTRACK system and components; (ii) the effect of games and evaluation methodologies as training tools. Data collected include observations, log-data, interviews, questionnaires, and information from de-briefing session, and will be used in line with the data collection protocols that will be established in T6.1, and follow the advice and assessments of the ethical monitoring in WP1.
We will embed this in a framework for training of humanitarian responders that helps them build and extend their expertise in Information Management, Coordination and Logistics, for instance via the alliance network of the HUMLOG institute and the on-going training programs for UNICEF. In addition, this WP will also strengthen academic education, by involving Master and PhD students from all university partners in the design, testing and running of the simulations.
Finally, since only trained actors are capable to fully understand the potential of technology, this WP will better prepare iTRACK solutions to reach the market as products. WP7 activities will guide our exploitation & impact strategies in WP8, dissemination (WP9) to ensure that we reach relevant European user groups.
This work package provides the overall coordination effort for exploitation and impact, ensuring the sustainability of the iTRACK solution. It will proactively plan, execute, and report all relevant activities. A particular focus will be on building the community of iTRACK early adopters and users. The main objective of this is to develop an exploitation and sustainability strategy to address all stakeholders and to provide useful input to technical development and community tasks. This includes (i) identification of methods and opportunities to ensure sustainability of the iTRACK beyond the three-year duration of the project (ii) ensuring that the project achieves widest impact and effective exploitation of results.
To identify and engage a wide range of stakeholders at EU and global levels to raise awareness of and inform them about iTRACK’s activities and findings. This WP will include:
Convene a final conference inclusive of a speed networking session
Project management encompasses contractual issues and administrative, financial, communication and data management inside the project, and external relationships between the project and the European Commission. UiA as the Project Coordinator will lead this WP assisted by the Project Office, led by ARTTIC. Each Work Package (WP) will maintain, monitor and control its internal project plan, specifying deliverables, tasks and milestones; these are to be reported on quarterly basis. In this manner, progress and results within the work packages will be centrally monitored and compared against the overall objectives of the project. Moreover, interdependencies and the impact of deviations in a WP can be centrally assessed and appropriate action can be taken. Specifically, this WP will:
Ensure high quality standards in the project work and help the consortium partners to achieve their project objectives.