The Speed Project started in 2010 after the Haiti Earthquake and the Pakistan Flood responses. The explosion of social media information coming from affected populations and the Haitian diaspora community was juxtaposed against insufficient information on the situation coming in from response teams due to the antiquated data collection and information management systems they had at their disposal.

Ian Gray and Madara Hettiarachchi of World Vision developed the Speed Evidence concept, which had a vision of a future where every humanitarian responder caught in the midst of a disaster can communicate within minutes what they see by text, voice, video and formal assessment using the phone they have in their pocket and those staff can help the communities around them to do the same. A future where responders are trained and equipped to collect, validate, consolidate, analyse, and present reliable contextual evidence from multiple internal (response teams) and external (communities, social media) sources within the first week of a rapid onset emergency to deliver more effective, contextualised responses.

The initial proof of concept included: a desk review, technological system research and analysis by Accenture Development Partners (ADP), and interviews with proposed users of the system to understand their requirements. A number of trials were undertaken in various field offices to trial the mobile solutions, which also provided both community and staff feedback in order to identify an appropriate mobile solution. This Proof of Concept Phase was funded by World Vision UK’s innovation fund and managed by Dr. Becky Thorn. A working prototype has now been created and is free to download and use.

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While the individual components of the Speed Portal have been tested and used in a number of countries, their combined usage through the Speed Portal has been used in the Philippines Typhoon Haiyan response and with a consortium of NGOs working in Somalia.

How it works

Donors & Partners


The original proof of concept phase was funded by World Vision UK with pro bono support from our tech partners Ushahidi, SMAP Fieldtask, and Frontline SMS.  World Vision International funded a transition phase before in April 2013; we were delighted to receive funding from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund for the prototype phase of the project.  The competition for this funding was fierce, but to our delight, we were one of four projects selected to receive funding.


Day to day project management has been done jointly between World Vision International and Faces of Another World.