The HumaNav vehicle tracking system developed by UNOSAT in partnership with NOVACOM Services of France is increasing popular with humanitarian agencies and NGOs. The reasons of its success are its versatility and problem-solving nature together with the fact that the solution is compatible with most hardware sold on the positioning and navigation market and it is able to communicate via both GSM (the cellular phone system) and satellite telecommunication system.
Several UN agencies and international NGOs have adopted HumaNav since its launch in 2011. When acquiring the system each agency is provided with in-field installation and user training and becomes part of the HumaNav Community.
In early October 2012, UNITAR/UNOSAT delivered the first large scale in-field training dedicated to UNHCR professional drivers and the Agency’s security managers. The Refugee Agency had already tried the system in the field with success in 2010. The training helps agencies make the most of the system and is useful to make drivers aware of the functionalities of the solution. Installation teams are also dispatched to the field to help agencies and NGOs install the kits aboard their vehicles.
Since 2011, 420 HumaNav kits have been delivered to UNHCR Kenya, to address security and safety issues that are acute in some of the areas in which HCR is operating. The kits allow for world-wide coverage using GPS satellite signals and a feature dual communication mode that uses the GSM network whenever it is available and switches automatically to satellite communications when crossing remote areas with no cellular coverage.
The system includes a driver identification system, two-way direct messaging between driver and base, pre-selected messages from driver to base and an emergency alert function that sends pre-set messages to preselected recipients in case of need.
In the case of Kenya HumaNav kits have been mounted also on some Kenyan police vehicles to facilitate their work in maintaining security in the Dadaab refugee camps and to protect humanitarian workers in the area. In OCtober UNITAR/UNOSAT and NOVACOM provided training courses in Nairobi and Dadaab regional offices. A total of 250 staff were trained in the use of the HumaNav system, including 150 professional drivers.
Several UNHCR implementing partners, such as Care, Save the Children, the Danish Refugee Council, the International Rescue Committee, World Vision, Oxfam and Lutheran World Federation also use this system. “We are planning to equip the whole humanitarian fleet operating in Kenya under the umbrella of UNHCR with this system by November 2012”, says Olivier Senegas of UNOSAT. Senegas, who has supervised the development of the solution and managed the contacts with the humanitarian agencies that are using the solution, continues: “agencies appreciate the security benefits of the system but also the potential of HumaNav to enable a true fleet management process able to save on kilometres, fuel and reduce the carbon footprint of in-field missions”.
Wacth a short video on the main funcitonalities of HumaNav (in French).
Photos: Various moments of the training in Kenya (photos by UNOSAT)