At Ushahidi, we have interacted with various organizations around the world, and the key thing we remember from reaching out to some NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in Kenya is that we faced a lot of resistance when we began in 2008, with organizations not willing to share data which was often in PDFs and not in machine-readable format. This was especially problematic as we were crowdsourcing information about the events that happened that year in Kenya. Our partners in other countries have had similar challenges in gathering relevant and useful data that is locked away in cabinets, yet was paid for...more »
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[Post written by Melissa Tully and Jennifer Chan. This post is the third in a series of blog posts documenting a 9-month Ushahidi evaluation project in partnership with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative supported by the Knight Foundation.] We have made great progress on the Ushahidi Kenya evaluation. Jennifer has been back at the iHub continuing to build the 3-part assessment and self-evaluation tool. The goal of this toolbox is to help interested organizations learn about the Ushahidi platform using a web-based interactive tool. There's also a low bandwidth and no bandwidth option as detailed in our earlier post. In Nairobi,...more »
This post was written by Melissa Tuly and Jennifer Chan. This is the second in a series of blog posts documenting a 9-month Ushahidi evaluation project in partnership with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative supported by the Knight Foundation. The Ushahidi-Kenya evaluation is off to a strong start. Since returning from Nairobi in January, 2011 we have worked on the self-evaluation and assessment tool for individuals and organizations interested in using Ushahidi. The purpose of the tool is to help interested parties learn about the Ushahidi platform via a web-based learning tool, to provide access to community resources, and to actively...more »
This post was written by Melissa Tully and Jennifer Chan. It is the first in a series of blog posts documenting a 9-month Ushahidi evaluation project in partnership with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and supported by the Knight Foundation. A version of the post below was originally published on the Ushahidi blog During the first two weeks of January, we traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, to begin phase one of a 9-month evaluation of Ushahidi's Kenya projects. Ushahidi is a web application created to map the reported incidents of violence during the post-election crisis in Kenya. As part of a team,...more »
With the increased adoption of Ushahidi around the world, we are finding that one problem (which we anticipated in the very beginning of the initiative) is that of low bandwidth regions. In the early days of testing the platform in Kenya, we found that the map would take ages to load, and so the development team worked very hard to change this. This was of course before the installation of fiber optic links in Kenya, which make connection speeds much better after September 2009. Our current solution for integrating SMS in areas with low bandwidth (but good wireless service coverage)...more »
This post was authored by Rebecca Wanjiku There is something nice about people who attend our Ushahidi 101 sessions in Kenya. They come to us having heard lots of good things about our information-mapping platform, and many have intentions to implement it within their organization or project. These sessions, which we started earlier this year, attract new users, current users and those who have deployed and have lessons to share. The majority are new users and they come to the iHub in Nairobi in search of answers and a way forward. For many, the intention is there, but they wonder...more »
The Ushahidi platform's growing use has been astounding to say the least. The platform has been download almost 4,000 times. On top of that, our mobile applications (including the Android Oil Spill reporter by Henry Addo) have been downloaded more than 3,700 times. As an organization that is barely two years old, it is encouraging to see adoption of the platform in various countries and for diverse uses. Be it election monitoring in Burundi, Snowmaggedon in D.C., or preventing forest forest fires in Italy, it is very encouraging to the development team to see people around the world using the...more »
This post is written by Melissa Tully and Rebecca Wanjiku. Melissa Tully is a PhD student at UW-Madison who is researching the use of social/new media in social justice work in Kenya. She has been volunteering with Ushahidi for the past two-and-a-half years. Rebecca Wanjiku is a project assistant for Ushahidi in Kenya. She interfaces with many organizations and individuals who have inquiries about Ushahidi. This month and last month saw the first ever "Ushahidi 101" events held at the iHub in Nairobi. The first Ushahidi 101 gathering took place on May 12 and attracted 16 people from different organizations...more »
Melissa Tully is a PhD student at UW-Madison who is researching the use of social/new media in social justice work in Kenya. She has been volunteering with Ushahidi for the past two and a half years. In this post, she highlights a workshop that she organized in Kibera. On April 23 I, along with the Map Kibera team, organized a focus group on the Voice of Kibera (VoK) platform, which is designed to be a place for residents of Kibera, a slum in Nairobi, to post reports and information relevant to them and their community. VoK is a recent initiative...more »
Rebecca Wanjiku is a project assistant for Ushahidi in Kenya. She interfaces with many organizations and individuals who have inquiries about Ushahidi. In this post, she shares her perspective and experience. "How do we inspire active participation in a project that is non-political, and not related to a crisis?" This is a question asked by many organizations who are thinking of using Ushahidi, our Knight-funded project. They usually ask it immediately after I am done explaining that the platform can be used in non-crisis situations, even though its genesis was Kenya's post-election violence. I'm uniquely suited to understand this predicament...more »
Hatari.co.ke is is a website that allows anyone in Nairobi, Kenya, to submit reports about crime and corruption in the city. ("Hatari" means "danger" in Swahili.) It will provide the growing city and its inhabitants with a repository of public information about incidents such as carjacking, corruption, police harassment and others. This initiative builds on other crime maps such as SpotCrime and MapATL. The idea of crime mapping is not new (see EveryBlock, an Idea Lab success story), but it's unlikely that law enforcement officials and the general public in Kenya previously had a tool to visualize crime information. This...more »
I think newspapers, blogs, and magazines should all be doing audio versions. I grew up enjoying and listening to audiobooks and now I don't have the same option for the short form content that I prefer to consume.
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