When a natural disaster strikes, providing emergency medical care and rapid relief is top priority. Often neglected, monitoring and evaluation is essential to determine which strategies and technologies worked (or didn’t), making response efforts faster, safer and more effective in the next emergency.

Recognizing the need for reflexive monitoring and evaluation of post-disaster technology interventions, HITLAB partnered with the United Nations International Telecom Union to provide an evaluation of the emergency cellular communications system deployed following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

HITLAB conducted an assessment of the Qualcomm Deployable Base Station (QBDS), a temporary communications infrastructure implemented by the UN ITU to permit mobile communication between recovery, relief and government players in the immediate period following the Haiti disaster. Drawing from device usage data and qualitative user interviews, research aimed to understand how the technology was used on the ground, assess QBDS’s role in supporting health-related response efforts and discover ways to improve future deployments.