The inability of key decision makers to obtain critical information in a timely fashion has been identified as a crucial problem in preparing for and responding to emergencies. The proliferation of proprietary and “stove piped” information systems, the lack of effective governance and effective use of policies and procedures has led to a culture of information hoarding rather than information sharing.
G&H has played a vital role in helping solve this problem through the development of and support for the DHS S&T Virtual USA program with a goal of enabling seamless information sharing across all levels of government. In addition to helping develop the strategy for the program, G&H has managed and provided technical assistance to each of the five vUSA related pilot projects and has engaged with over 30 states, 14 federal agencies, numerous localities and the private sector to advance that goal.
G&H’s efforts have included the development of the initial version of the vUSA MyLibrary widget (a web application that enables users to access the vUSA catalog from their native viewer), stakeholder engagement and facilitation and development of National level governance and policies to enable vUSA to serve as a trusted environment for information sharing.