Category:Checkin call

From Digital Response
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page is a work in progress. Parts of it will be wrong and/or incomplete.
Contributions, suggestions, etc always welcome!

Why host white-label check-in calls?

These call-ins / check-ins are at their most basic a way to strengthen the connections across response organizations (traditional, digital, and otherwise), individuals, and projects. Some calls are focused or topical, but are always meant as open spaces for cross-sector and -organizational collaboration. Defined organizations, networks, and other ways of delineating and focusing response are absolutely necessary, but so too is a space external to that for emergent possibilities.

Scaffolding and resources for hosting a call with us or elsewhere


We've found the following to be essential to a group check-in:

  • Where will the call take place? : The platform you'll use.
We are currently cycling through various platforms, in order to test them out.
  • When will the call happen? : The date and time (include the timezone!).
A doodle usually goes out in order to schedule a call.
  • What will be talked about? : Pre-populated agenda.
  • Who are you inviting? : Invitee list (organizations and/or individuals).
We have an invite list that can be registered for via the Main Page

For attendees

  • Be prepared : Think about what you want out of the call. Are you looking for help on something? Want to give an update on a project? Looking to hear what others are up to? All of these (and more) are great! You might consider writing down brief points of what you might say, or rehearsing with a friend or officemate -- large calls can be time intensive, and concision is deeply appreciated.
  • Be present : Sharing of information requires a receiver. Don't just think about what you'd like to say to everyone, pay attention when others are speaking. It can be tempting to multitask, but it absolutely detriments the overall effect of such a checkin. Help take notes, or ask yourself how what is currently being talked about impacts the work you do.
  • Contribute : The facilitator is likely juggling back end issues. The person speaking can rarely/not take notes for themselves as they speak. We rely on the group of which we are a part to document meaningful exchanges, and that means me/you/us documenting, asking questions, offering suggestions.

For organizers

Be clear (but not spammy) about letting people know about the event.


  1. Draft an agenda. You might use this template pasted into a riseup pad for collaborative agenda building and note-taking during the call.
  2. Add a stubbed wiki page linked to from the list of events and fill it in with this template.
  3. Point the riseup pad and the wiki page at each other
  4. 2-3 weeks before a call, send out a doodle or other scheduling mechanism to those who might be key to the subject of discussion and to our digital response mailing list. Indicate a deadline for responding (I like 4 days). Here is a template for those emails.
  5. 4 days later, shut the poll down, update the invite list about the time and date selected, along with a link to the wiki page (which should also be pointing to the riseup pad). This particular call invite currently goes out to
    1. our digital response mailing list,
    2. the Digital Humanitarian Network mailing list, and
    3. the DHN skype channel.
  6. 2 or 3 days before the call, remind people about the call, agenda, and call-in platform (including what needs they might have to run it, and who their point person for troubleshooting is). This information should also be on the wiki page AND the riseup pad, but including it in the email reminder helps as well.
  7. 1 or 2 hours before the call, announce the call again.


Participants should know they have a set amount of time to add in edits and to make deletions before the notes go in a public-facing location.

  1. 1 or 2 days after the call, transfer the notes from the riseup pad to the wiki page. The only thing left on the riseup pad should be a link to the wiki page.
  2. Send out a link to the wiki page, plus thanks and top-level analysis to the same channels the call-in was announced to.
  3. 1 week after the call, shut down any independent comms channels which were created for the checkin (IE, any IRC, Skype, etc room created specifically for the call should be closed down).

For facilitators

  • Work with the organizer on the agenda.
  • Try to start on time, which means you will likely need to be a few minutes early.
  • Try to end at least a few minutes early.
  • Remember the entirety of the group is who you serve, and be ok interrupting someone if they're taking up more than 1/Nth of the time.

For trouble shooters

  • Have whatever comms channels folk might ping you on open. This may include, but not be limited to: email, skype, jabber, the note-taking pad, etc.
  • If more than 2 or 3 attendees have signaled having technical issues, ask if anyone else is experiencing the same.
  • If 20% or more of attendees are having troubles, work in a back channel with the facilitator and/or organizer to switch everyone over to a backup.

Past call links and summaries

  • 2016 May 23 : updates on HumTechFest, discussion on the blockchain in response, and questions about international consortium, health site data, the digital response ecosystem map, and urban resilience.
  • 2016 April 12 : updates from Resilience CoLab, JIFX, prosthetic environments, Coordinated Data Scramble, and decision maker's needs.
  • 2015 Nov 27 : updates on Humanitarian Services Data Standards Project, Resilience CoLab, Witness Engines/Crisis Archiving, Secure Web Integration Framework, JIFX, Sahana Eden supply and volunteer management database, and RHoK
  • 2015 Sept 23 : updates on the handbook, ResilienceCoLab, and 2W doc. Also talked about RefugeesWelcome, JIFX, the Earthquake Coordinated Data Scramble, and communication methods (the drafted Code of Conduct for open comms channels, how the call-in platform was working, and how to select other comms platforms).
  • 2015 Aug 06 : the band is back together! A firehose of a call, many folk gave a quick overview of themselves and their organizations. We also did quick indicators of projects we're working on and how we could use help.
  • 2012 Sept 12 : updates about how to get data into and out of FEMA.
  • 2012 Jul 31 : notes from a call while with Geeks Without Bounds with organizational updates from Crisis Commons, Humanity Road, and Standby Task Force about a data commons.


This category has only the following subcategory.