Archive for January, 2010

Haiti Update – Jan. 31

January 31, 2010 Leave a comment

ALAN as “Middleware?” Middleware was a popular topic in the tech industry a few years ago. Software that sits between other applications Middleware serves to communicate between systems and serve up and translate into useful information what might otherwise have been difficult to access. ALAN does a good bit of that kind of work be it between relief agency (NGO’s) needs and industry resources, connecting individuals on the ground or identifying who has transportation resources. It is a big part of what we offer.

The difficult nature of supplying Haiti and the magnitude of Haiti recovery needs suggests that most of what can be done for recovery still remains to be done. Opportunities to make a difference will continue please review posted needs at

Nearly 3 weeks after the earthquake it is time to begin to take stock.

Accomplishments have included meeting NGO needs and posting donations; connecting ground teams, providing logistics situational awareness, serving new industry groups and the USAID’s implementation of the Aidmatrix donation management system.

Lessons and possibilities tally a reminder of the chaos of disaster response, interaction with international NGO’s and new government agencies, use of additional portal functionality, need for additional industry connections and the need for funding of relief logistics.

Thanks for your support.

Jock Menzies

President, ALAN

Categories: Haiti Tags: , , , ,

Haiti Update – Jan. 28

January 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Movement into Haiti/DR is improving and we are beginning to see the posted needs move from medical supplies into other areas. A few notes/requests.

  • Take a look at posted needs yourself and how-to basics.
  • The web portal and ALAN are making a difference. E.g. yesterday Pep Boys committed to donating generators needed by CARE and others, numerous transportation needs matches are being worked, W W Grainer has committed high quality masks, etc.
  • Other business groups, USAID and members of the NGO community are reaching out to ALAN for support and collaboration.

Learning continues and new questions arise.

  • Does the ALAN network of connections have a role in supporting businesses that contract with the government or NGO’s?
  • How do we broaden networking opportunities? The adoption of the portal technology is increasing but many connections are/will be human.
  • The government & NGO’s are swamped by offers that lie somewhere between a donation and commercial. Might ALAN members help sort that out when surges of activity occur?

Asking someone/a company to consider support of disaster relief has been a consistently positive experience. They may not be able to help but the effort is appreciated. Companies often seek opportunities in this area as an expression of their values, to give their employees an opportunity to engage and because of employee and community expectations.

Many thanks for your engagement and support.


Jock Menzies
President, ALAN

Categories: Haiti Tags: , , ,

ALAN at Work in Haiti

January 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Patience is difficult counsel to accept in the face of the obvious need in Haiti. Most donation offers made now cannot be immediately accepted and deployed due to logistics constraints and the focus on a narrow band of life sustaining items. They can and will make a difference as the supply chain flow capacity increases and a recovery phase begins.

The key areas to be attentive to at this time are needs that are posted by the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) active in Haiti. A few notes:

  • The ALAN portal feeds and is fed by the USAID portal which is supporting NGO’s active in Haiti. USAID, supported by DHS/FEMA, is the lead US agency in providing support for Haiti relief efforts.
  • ALAN is at the table at USAID’s International Donations Coordination Team Transportation Coordination Group which will keep us informed about the evolving situation.
  • There is a budding effort to establish a coordinating center with InterAction which is the international association of NGO’s active in disaster response. We will be engaged in this.
  • Companies seeking to sell goods or services for the relief effort are at this time being referred to by USAID.
  • For more information and the most current supply-chain-related relief needs, visit