August 20, 2017

Overview

The Academy for Critical Incident Analysis (ACIA) of Jay College of Criminal Justice, promotes and disseminates scholarly research relating to the emergence, management and consequences of critical incidents. ACIA sponsors scholarship and research, hosts conferences and symposiums, and maintains research archives of incident records. ACIA also supports the development and dissemination of course curricula and supporting media for the teaching of critical incident analysis.

ACIA is conducting a competition to promote the development of  WordPress themes and plug-ins related to incident preparation, management, monitoring and mitigation. We believe that furthering the development of these technologies will enhance future research about traumatic incidents and disasters, while also promoting more effective incident prevention and management. We also believe that, for victims of emerging and ongoing traumatic incidents and disasters, information improves the chances for survival and recovery.  We therefore believe that the creative energies of WordPress communities and the technologies resulting from this competition will eventually save lives, mitigate trauma, and preserve communities.

This competition is designed to stimulate technical innovation, and to illustrate a new set of potential social benefits of WordPress and other social media technologies – saving lives and mitigating trauma.  We know, for example, that Twitter and Facebook messaging and other similar technologies now represent important tools for incident managers to assess how an incident is unfolding, and important tools for victims (and unfortunately even perpetrators) to communicate during incidents.

We therefore seek submissions of WordPress themes, plug-ins and other tools that can advance incident and disaster preparedness, management, monitoring and mitigation – for incident managers and incident victims. We expect that the WordPress community will come up with ideas that the originators of the competition never envisioned. However, to stimulate creative thinking, we offer the following ideas.

  • How can we improve situation awareness for incident managers and victims? Could a plug-in monitor news feeds, twitter, streaming video broadcasts and webcam feeds, and emergency communications and reports and alerts registered users to events?
  • Can we improve the dissemination of official information to the public and to affected people? For example, a plug-in could consolidate and list official announcements about an ongoing incident.
  • Can we improve the aggregation and dissemination of information about lost persons. For example, a plug-in might monitor sites that provide information about incident victims or lost persons and reports if information about specified persons comes up.
  • Can we improve reporting of consequences of a disaster or incident. For example, a plug-in could connect users to a database where victims can record information about consequences of an incident.
  • Can we help small organizations to plan and prepare for emergencies. For example,  a theme might use the WordPress infrastructure and a set of plug-ins to construct an inexpensive but useful emergency planning and management website for a small organization such as a school, apartment building, or church.
  • Can we improve incident monitoring by managers and researchers? For example: A theme might use the WordPress infrastructure to produce a site that enables people to monitor the status of a particular incident – like tracking the progress of a hurricane – and then connects them to resources for assistance.
  • How can we aggregate, present and record real-time information about an evolving disaster or incident from sources such as news feeds, twitter, streaming video broadcasts and webcam feeds, and emergency communications. Example: A plug-in presents a stream of information emerging from of an incident in progress, and records some or all of the stream on a disk drive.
  • Can we improve training for incident managers or first-responders? For example, a theme might use the recorded information from  the idea immediately above to present a simulated re-creation of the incident for training or after-action evaluation?

We are offering $2,500 for the best theme and the best plug-in, $1,000 for the second best and $500 for the third best in each category.