User Guide for Missing Person Registry Module


The Missing Person Registry is an organized online bulletin board of missing and found people. It captures information about the people lost and found, as well as information about persons seeking them, increasing the chances of people finding each other. For example, if two members of a family are looking for the head of the family, Sahana can connect those two family members during their search, ideally leading to family reunification. While Sahana offers no automatic notification when someone is found, it would allow a volunteer monitoring Sahana to perform manual notification (e.g., through phone contact).

Sahana's Missing Person Registry is self-contained for now, and does not interact with the Disaster Victim Registry. There may be future enhancements in this area, as well as interchange of evacuee and patient-tracking information with other non-Sahana systems.

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Coming Soon

In conjunction with the November FOSS.IN 2008 conference in Bangalore, a start was made on code to allow the public to query the Missing Person Registry via a GSM mobile/cell phone (or laptop with GSM modem). Initial desirable functionality would allow search for the missing by either first or last name. (Companion code, related to situational awareness, will allow phone notification of disaster event alerts and updates.) For technical details, see foss_in_2008_ideas.

In April, 2009, Sahana projects for the Google Summer of Code 2009 were selected. Projects (with mentor and student listed) that would likely most impact MPR are:

  • Person Registry(PR) for Sahana (Dominic Koenig, Kethees Selladurai) - Will provide a more-uniform internal representation of people across modules, and allow cross-module search.
  • Body Management and Identification module in Fatality Management for Disaster Victim Identification (Dominic Koenig, Khushbu Mohta) - This and MPR have some commonalities.
  • J2ME client with multiple-transport back-end support (GPRS and particularly SMS) - For form data collection in the field using mobile devices (Kapil Dua, Praneeth Bodduluri).
  • SahanaOCR module (Joseph Fonseka, Gihan Chamra) - Support data collection using printed forms as an alternative to on-line entry.
  • Sahana Dynamic Theme Manager (Hayesha Somarathne, Akshit Sharma) - Improve Sahana appearance and customizability.

Other projects were:

  • P2P Synchronization of Sahana Servers (Fran Boon, Hasanat Kazmi)
  • SahanaPHP CAP Reader and Firefox Plugin (Gavin Treadgold, Shree Kant Bohra)
  • CAP Publishing and Enhancing the CAP generation (Nuwan Waidyanatha, Nithin Dara)
  • Aggregator Mashup Portal (Chamara Caldera, Iroshan Horathalge)
  • Warehouse Management under Logistics Module (Mark Prutsalis, Ajay Kumar)


Simple Scenario

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  1. Reporting Person 1 first reports a missing person, such as “dad”.
  2. Independently, another family member ( Reporting Person 2) is looking for dad and reports dad's last-known-location and other details to Sahana, including ultimately finding him.
  3. Reporting Person 2 checks in with Sahana, and finds that dad has been found by Reporting person 1. Through Sahana the three can arrange to meet up.

Functionality Provided through the Main Menu of the Missing Person Registry

  • Search for a person
  • Report a missing person
  • Edit a missing person
  • Report a found person
  • List missing people
  • List found people

Search for a Person

In the “Search” window, the user can try to find someone, assuming that person had been reported to the system as missing or found.

To search for a person, enter

  • Any known identifying number for the individual ( such as identity card number, passport number, or driving license number )
  • Any part of the person's name ( such as first name, family name, nickname )

Select “All Incidents”, if you want to search for a person associated with all disaster incidents covered by the Sahana installation.

Then click “Search”. The results is a scrollable table with details about all the candidate missing and found people that match your search criteria.

(Click above image to enlarge)

Search Result Details

There may be more than one individual that matches the search criteria. For a given individual, a row of information has these columns:

  • Person

Shows name and optional photo.

  • Details

Shows any descriptive information that can help in identification.

  • Associated People

Shows each person who reported on or wants to know about the person being sought. If there's an additional person interested in the missing individual, add that person to this list with the “Associate another person” link.

  • Missing Details

Shows details, such as time and location last seen.

  • Actions

Shows the current status ( e.g., Missing, Alive & Well, Injured ). If you find a missing person, report that by using 'Click to change to found'. Also, you can assign a given individual to another incident by following the link “Assign to more incidents”.

Report a Missing Person

Before adding someone to Sahana's Missing Person Registry (MPR), please confirm that the person is not already listed, by using the MPR search function provided. You will reminded about this at the start of the first “Report a Missing Person” page.

Otherwise, the registration process begins by asking you for information about the missing person:

  • Three identifying numbers (ID card, passport, license)
  • Full name (e.g., “Mr. Malcolm F. del Quentin, Jr”), family name (e.g., “del Quentin”), and local name (non-English characters)
  • Date of birth (selectable from a calendar or typed in) and/or age group
  • Gender, marital status, race, and religion
  • Address and phone numbers
  • In what town disaster was probably encountered
  • Eye, hair, skin colour
  • Height, weight, and distinctive features (e.g., distinguishing marks, scars, tattoos, prostheses)
  • Blood type
  • Last seen location, clothing, appearance
  • Any other information helpful in finding the person

Input all details available that you wish to share in the relevant fields. Of the free-text fields, only the full name is compulsory. It is also possible to upload a single photograph of the missing person, making identification easier. When done, click “Next”.

On the second page, Sahana asks for information about the “reporting person”, that is, you (or the person on whose behalf you are entering information). This will:

  • allow notification should the missing person be later reported found.
  • assist family reunification, particularly if you are also a victim of the disaster.

Set “Have you reported anyone?” to the appropriate value, depending on whether you have previously reported anyone to Sahana MPR:

Yes, then input your name and relationship to the newly-reported missing person, and click “Next”. Sahana will show a list of names matching yours. Choose the correct one by clicking the “Select” link.

No, then enter

  • Name and relationship to the missing person
  • Whether you are a disaster victim too, and if so your current status (e.g., alive & well, injured)
  • Contacts (address, phone, email), with at least one required.

After filling in the relevant fields, click “Next”.

This process may be repeated if there are more than one missing persons to report.

Edit a Missing Person

In the “Edit a Missing Person” page, a user can update information about a person entered previously into Sahana.

First, the user must find the person whose information needs to be updated. To perform this, input any identification number or any part of a name in the relevant fields. Also select “All Incidents” if you need to search in all disaster incidents. Then click “Search”. The list of matching persons will appear. This step is the same as “Search for a Person” above.

If you need to update details of missing person, click on the name of the person. Then Sahana will show a form filled with previously entered data. Change relevant fields as required. It is also possible to upload a new photograph for that person (but only one photo per person will be retained at this time). When done, click “Next” to apply changes.

In the next window, Sahana shows a list of persons (Trackers) seeking that person. If you do not need to change anything here, just click “Next”. If you need to remove a tracker, select link “Click to remove the tracker”.

If you need to add new tracker, click link “Add a tracker”. Then you will get a window to enter information about the new tracker. Set “Have you reported anyone?” to the appropriate value, depending on whether the tracker has previously reported anyone to Sahana MPR:

  • No, then fill in available information about the tracker in the relevant fields, and click “Next”.
  • Yes, then input the trackers's name and relationship to the missing person in then relevant fields, and click “Next”. Then Sahana will show a list of names that match with the name given as the tracker. Select the correct tracker (or reporting person generally) by clicking the link “Select”.

If the new tracker has not reported any person to Sahana MPR before, Set “Have you reported anyone?” to No then fill all the information available about reporting person in relevant fields. Then click “Next”.

To view details about a tracker, click on the tracker's name. Sahana will show a window with a summary about that tracker.

(Click above image to enlarge)

To edit details of that tracker, click the link “Click to edit”. Then edit the information about that tracker ( just like editing a missing person ). Then click “Next”.

After making any changes to trackers and clicking “Next”, Sahana will show a summary page with the new information, and will ask for confirmation to apply these changes. To apply changes, click “Next”.

Report a Found Person

Use the “Report a Found Person” page to announce the finding of a displaced person earlier reported as missing. Steps need to report a found person are similar to those to report a missing person.


List Missing People

The “Reports/List Missing People” menu item bring up the “Missing People” page, listing all missing people in the Missing Person Registry, with their photographs [in what order?].

(Click above image to enlarge)

To edit a missing person's entry, click on the person's name. Sahana will bring up the “Edit Missing Person” page; steps to edit this page were described earlier.

To assign a missing person to another incident, click on “Assign to more incidents”, select another another incident and click “Add”.

List Found People

From the “Reports/List Found People” menu item, the “Found People” page lists all the now-found people contained in the Missing Person Registry, with their photographs. The functionality of “List Found People” is same as “List Missing People” except, of course, it lists persons found. Specifically, one can edit a found person's entry or assign a given person to different incidents, using steps essentially the same as for “List Missing Person” described above.

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