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Information sharing across multiple humanitarian organizations—a web-based information exchange platform for project reporting

Abstract

This article analyzes information sharing problems in the humanitarian development sector and proposes the concept of a web-based exchange platform to face some of the technical challenges. The “Development Information Exchange System” is a mediator-wrapper-architecture that uses XML documents to loosely couple autonomous and heterogeneous information systems. Detailed project information of humanitarian organizations that resides on data provider systems can be formatted with XSL stylesheets according to the needs of the users and shared within or between organizations. The system can help to close the control loop by providing qualitative information about humanitarian projects. This makes project management more efficient. The proposed architecture solves an interface problem between the various partners and stakeholders of humanitarian projects. It is a first step towards a service-oriented architecture between humanitarian organizations. The next step could be the definition of cross-organizational business processes. These processes may be defined platform-independently with the Business Process Execution Language for Web Services. A prototype of the exchange platform is presented and evaluated in this article.

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Correspondence to Stefan Huesemann.

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Huesemann, S. Information sharing across multiple humanitarian organizations—a web-based information exchange platform for project reporting. Inf Technol Manage 7, 277–291 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10799-006-0277-7

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Keywords

  • Loosely coupled information systems
  • XML-based project reporting
  • Development information exchange system
  • Humanitarian organization