Alan Mills GIS & Mapping

Alan Mills Alan Mills GIS and Mapping Specialist

Alan has been a professional geographer for over 30 years. He obtained his B.Sc. from Durham University, and M.Sc. in remote sensing from University of London. He worked for 10 years at the UK's Natural Resources Institute in Kent, followed by two years as the National GIS Coordinator in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in the Caribbean. On his return to UK, he has been a freelance consultant on geography, GIS and information management in development issues both on continental Africa and Asia, and with special interest in small island states in the Caribbean Sea and South Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

His thematic portfolio covers three interconnected issues:

  • Disaster Management - comprehensive understanding of the needs and potential for information management (IM) across all aspects of disaster management from resilience building, disaster risk reduction, early warning, anticipatory action, sudden onset and prolonged crisis response, early recovery, post disaster needs assessment and MEAL information indicators (for example related to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Related Statistics). Alan can provide a bridge between a range of IM technologies and solutions and the specific needs, working environments and institutional and human capital of emergency responders, disaster management and local, national, regional and global humanitarian actors
  • Environmental and Climate change spatial issues including establishment of biodiversity monitoring programmes in small island states, environmental impact assessment, impact of sea level rise and increasing risk to meteorological hazards.
  • Land management - the land ocean interface, property rights, cadastre, land cover and land use mapping and planning, statistical systems and census mapping. Alan has a particular specialism in scoping needs and developing roadmaps for both specific and general IM programmes for an agency, whether it be for a national government department, international or regional agency, or within the civil society, academic or private company sectors. He brings a massive breadth of knowledge of information sources and initiatives to support decision making in disaster management along with realistic technical and programmatical solutions that can be sustainable within an organisation.

He has strong partnership building skills and has both designed and conducted bespoke, on the job and formal training programmes within individual organisations, for taught short courses and to support academic portfolios. He has been an advisor to agencies developing information management capacities.

Alan has been a volunteer for the UK based charity MapAction for 19 years, was one of its directors for 6 years and coordinates the charity's work on preparedness to respond and development of new programmes and partnerships, increasingly looking at resilience building and anticipatory aid action.

He has practical experience of using GIS and remote sensing to support information management through emergency responses with MapAction to floods in Dominican Republic, Benin, Namibia, Djibouti and Serbia, tropical cyclones in Bahamas, BVI, Jamaica, Vanuatu and Fiji, the Libyan and Syrian Migrant crises and preparedness against Ebola in Mali. These have supported the UN OCHA, particularly the UNDAC teams, EU Civil Protection Mechanism, CDEMA in the Caribbean, and national government disaster management units. Alan is a member of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and was awarded an MBE in the 2021 New Year Honours for services to International Development through his membership of MapAction.

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