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Accountability Meets Sustainability

Round Two of Team Rubicon's Open Initiative

Creating something on the fly involves a lot of energy and resources. When we launched our open initiative back in September, we built it with speed in mind.

Since then, we’ve been working on building version two that enables the same degree of accountability while providing more sustainability. Sustainability meaning, the ability for Team Rubicon to use this platform to provide visibility into our relief efforts for disasters around the corner and to show the effectiveness and value of new capabilities (read services) we’re preparing to provide.

So here’s round two of the open initiative.

We designed the first visualization to see across the affected community we’re operating in, the type of work performed, and when it was provided. The points on the map have been randomized so they do not reflect the actual point on the map where services were provided. When we first launched, the points on the map grew on a daily basis and this approach will be replicated for future responses.

As indicated in our blog post on the topic, we are including the retail value of work performed. The post unpacks the rationale for this value and our approach to calculating it.

One of the new key performance indicators we’re excited to include in the open initiative is client satisfaction. We gather a number of key insights when we follow up and ask clients their satisfaction with our services. For the open initiative, we’ve included the net promoter score – a proxy for overall satisfaction.

It takes an incredible amount of generosity and investment by our donors to enable us to do what we do. In this visualization, we depict overall funds raised, while showing the cost of providing services and the overall value delivered to the recipient. This visualization is a work in progress. We are working through the best way to forecast our long term recovery efforts, specifically the expenses and value generated in the 100 homes we will rebuild in Texas. Anticipate some changes to this visualization in the coming weeks.

We have a cultural maxim around here, “Mission First, Greyshirts Always.” We can’t do what we do without the incredible service of Greyshirts giving of their time, talent, and skills to help disasters survivors, so we also included a visualization to show growth of new Greyshirts over time. Soon, we’ll share how this ties into our strategy for enabling growth and supporting growth across the country.

While the open initiative primarily focused on our efforts in Texas to date, we’re working to expand the sustainability of the platform to other events and long-term recovery such as our rebuilding efforts. We discovered this is easier said than done.

Historically, we didn’t always capture data for all types of services in ways that enable meaningful visualizations. As an example, we deployed chainsaw operators to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. These sawyers cleared critical waterways across the island. Although incredibly important work, we simply didn’t capture data that would make a meaningful visualization. We’re working on it.

To conclude, we’ve refined and launched version two of the open initiative, focused indicators, included new functionality for you explore, and have set Team Rubicon up to leverage this platform to share key indicators for disasters to come. We’ve got more work ahead of us but wanted to share where we are today.

Happy Holidays and more to come in the new year.

Corey Eide serves as Team Rubicon's Deputy Director of Field Operations. He's a Southern Californian native but fell for the east coast after living in DC (go statehood!) where he led the modernization of the American Red Cross’ disaster recovery services. Over a decade of experience in the disaster space, he defies the tyranny of precedent and believes disaster survivors demand better. He graduated from Tulane University with a masters in international development where he facilitates learning environments focused on disaster risk reduction, urban disaster recovery, trends in response and recovery and disruptions in the non-profit sector.