The Information Pool from Capgemini and Gemnet helps Dutch government agencies and the private sector share real-time information on emergencies
In order to respond effectively to a large-scale disaster or crisis, public sector organizations must share accurate information seamlessly and securely with all the relevant parties who have a role to play in the response. This often includes government bodies at local, regional and national levels, police, emergency services, incident rooms, and private sector organizations.
In the Netherlands, cooperation between agencies involved in disaster response has been improving continuously, but challenges in sharing information across organizational boundaries remain. The current crisis management and incident room systems of the emergency services, authorities and private organizations who play a role in crisis control and disaster management are often not connected. Each party uses its own sources of information and conceptual framework, and shares only limited data. This can give rise to differences of interpretation, confusion and delays which hamper the response to the crisis, potentially with serious consequences.
Recognizing the pressing need for a solution to these issues, Capgemini and Gemnet, a Dutch communications services provider, worked together on a proactive initiative to develop the Information Pool, a nationwide facility for the exchange of information on disaster management and crisis control between all relevant parties.
The Information Pool has been running as a 24-hour operational facility supported by Capgemini and Gemnet since 2010. The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (I&M) joined the pool when it launched, along with the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS), the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Dutch Land Registry Office, Kadaster. By the end of 2011, ten organizations will be linked via the pool, and thereafter further local, regional and national bodies will continue to join.