Monthly Archives: January, 2015

#Crowdfunding for cooperation projects?

January 17th, 2015 Posted by software development 0 comments on “#Crowdfunding for cooperation projects?”

In 2014, Gnucoop developed the Produzioni dal basso (PDB) web application (, a crowdfunding platform, that allows registered users to propose and fundraise money for their projects. The system is very user-friendly. Anyone can propose a project or decide to support it through different funding methodologies.

Crowdfunding is a collective effort of a group of individuals networking and pooling their resources for a specific project initiated by other people. This is usually done via or with the help of the Internet. Single projects are usually financed through small contributions from a large number of individuals. This is a more casual, yet powerful, approach based on crowd participation as well as an alternative method to specialised grant applications or more formal and traditional fundraising techniques.

Do NGOs use crowdfunding to fund their developing projects?

Most of the projects published on ‘Produzioni dal basso’ are submitted by single individuals or small/local associations. However crowdfunding can also be an interesting tool for NGOs to fundraise money for their projects. Although this way of fundraising is not yet very popular among NGOs, there are some interesting aspects related to the use of crowdfunding by NGOs:
1. gaining trust via (financial) transparency. Many crowdfunding platforms show project funding status on daily basis, as well as the number of days that are left to fundraise the remaining balance and the total amount needed per project. This helps to increase transparency and NGOs’ accountability;
2. strengthening the connection between donors and beneficiaries. Anybody, from beneficiaries, to supporters, etc…can post comments about the project or engage in a discussion related to the project, via social networks. This would increase donors’ involvement giving them the possibility to play a more active part or role in the realization of the project;
3. co-financing: often NGOs need cofinancing to reach project budget; crowdfunding could be a way to fundraise the remaining balance;
4. return on involvement: with a crowdfunding campaign it is important to think about what people want in return for their support. In general, three different categories of returns can be identified: social return (good feeling), material return (pre-sales of a product) or financial return. Although charities normally only focus on social return, it can be very interesting for them to look into other type of crowdfunding models, like reward-based crowdfunding (small or special gifts as return) of social loans (a loan with 0% interest).

Humanitarianism in the network age

January 15th, 2015 Posted by ICT4D 0 comments on “Humanitarianism in the network age”

To move into the network age, humanitarians will have to embrace constant adaptation.
Much of this adaptation will occur outside traditional humanitarian assistance forums.
The most efficient ways to use technology to support communities will be found in their use of technology. If aid organizations are willing to listen, learn and encourage innovation on the front lines, they can play a critical role in building a more inclusive and more effective humanitarian system.
OCHA study full text available in pdf

The document is well summarized by Patrick Meier on this blog post

Gnucoop and GIS applications

January 8th, 2015 Posted by DRR, ICT4D 0 comments on “Gnucoop and GIS applications”

In 2013 in Haiti, Gnucoop supported COOPI on the development of a webGIS platform,  namely SIRV-TAB, to help the municipality of Tabarre (in Port-au-Prince) and the National Civil Protection in locating resources, identifying critical issues, designing urban plans and understanding local vulnerabilities in order to increase population preparedness towards natural disasters and help managing crisis. The platform has been developed based on OpenGeo suite (GeoServer- OpenLayers and GeoExt) and  it is available at

Gnucoop staff spent one month in Haiti, working side by side with ngo COOPI-Cooperazione Internazionale and local authorities to define and develop the system requirements. As a result, the SIRV-TAB server allows geographic visualization of several types of information such as: public security data, presence of local organisations, water points, food storages, energy plants, transports, telecommunications, accommodations, waste management plants, roadworks and soil details.

Therefore, the SIRV-TAB database contributes to:

  • identify resources that are available to manage natural or man-made disasters in Tabarre;
  • manage these resources according to population needs, with a specific focus on the most vulnerable members of the society;
  • identify local hazards.

The SIRV-TAB can be used by decision makers, urban planners or simply personnel operating in crisis management in Tabarre to plan prevention/preparedness measures or organise response to emergency situations.

More informations here (available only in French)