Development of an innovative concept for the implementation of an organizational interface for an idea management system based on EO/GIS

01. Februar 2015

Projektpartner: Ärzte ohne Grenzen / Wintersemester 2014/2015


Médecins Sans Frontières - Austria (MSF-Austria) creates and promotes innovation actively. The organization is curious and open minded to address their operational needs in an innovative manner. Currently MSF is cooperating with the interdisciplinary Centre of Competence for Geoinformatics at the University of Salzburg (Z_GIS) and the Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation (GEO) at the Vienna University of Technology (SATIDA project) in search of new technologies for humanitarian use based on Earth Observation (EO) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This cooperation serves as the basis for this project and is to be enhanced in the future.

Status Quo

Organizational members deployed on mission in various crisis regions can request specific EO and GIS products via the Program Department in Vienna. They place their inquiry via e-mail before the Vienna based members forward the necessary information as soon as possible to their academic partners. Satellite pictures are to be taken and analyzed for the purpose of population estimation, groundwater exploration or environmental impacts. The results are sent back to the requestor by an Operation Center or the Program Department in Vienna. Regrettably, it is a highly time-consuming and labor-intensive procedure. As a result, we have been instructed with designing a solution involving an automated handling of the inquiry to save time and effort.


We designed an online platform and a forum tailored to the special needs of the organization. Moreover, the platform meets further purposes as storing data, informing about products and promoting innovations. Marketing plays an essential role in the package, as part of the platform will be accessible for non-members of MSF too. The built-in forum is intended to increase the communication of experts within the organization as well as from other external specialists. Furthermore, the core of the package, the forum, should help develop and realize innovative ideas more easily.

Statement of the problem

MSF is a quite large organization with their members having different fields of expertise. They have to be encouraged to use the package, because interaction creates content, ideas and innovation. Operations in the field are very stressful and there is less time for dangling thoughts and innovative ideas. So we developed a strategy to introduce the package and to even boost the level of interaction to create a vital community.

About MSF

Médecins Sans Frontières is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization delivering emergency aid to people affected by armed conflicts, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. It offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. The contact person is Andreas Papp, Delegate & Program Director in the Vienna office of MSF. He is supported by his colleague Edith Rogenhofer, a specialist for Water and Sanitary Engineering and GIS. Both gained substantial experiences in the field during the participation in various field operations.

Cooperation Partner

Student team

  • Begusch Susanne
    Grummlich Vincent
    Gouda Hamsa
    Strauss Phillip

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