Monthly Archives: August, 2015

How Tech Can Help Services Respond to Citizens

August 17th, 2015 Posted by ICT4D 0 comments on “How Tech Can Help Services Respond to Citizens”

Syria Tracker is an online map that shows where human rights abuses are happening in Syria. The site encourages civilians to anonymously report what’s going on in Syria.

There’s been a lot of hype around digital citizen feedback platforms. The lure of using mobile phones to receive reports from citizens anywhere across the globe, neatly documented on a digital map has led to a flurry of applications.

The Kenyan mapping platform Ushahidi has over 10,000 implementations. It’s been used across the globe in emergency responses and to monitor elections, forced evictions, outbreaks of violence and diseases like swine flu, to name just a few. What better way to get information right from the ground in real time?

But behind the hype, report numbers and response rates are often disappointingly low and practitioners working in complex environments are trying to understand why.

Why should citizens bother reporting?
Who will address their concerns?

Then there’s the question of ensuring that whoever’s receiving the reports, be it government, campaigners or charities, are willing and able to respond to reports coming in – a tough task in complex environments.

Somewhere between the hype and the cynicism, there are, perhaps, ways to amplify the voices of marginalised communities and ensure that their needs are met. At Indigo Trust, we spoke with some of our grantees to identify factors that can support this.
• Use appropriate technology
• Adequate marketing
• Build in accountability mechanisms
• Building confidence and trust with citizens and service providers

Read the original post by Loren Treisman

Ushahidi Milan meetup – July 2015

August 3rd, 2015 Posted by ICT4D 0 comments on “Ushahidi Milan meetup – July 2015”

This July we partecipated to a community training and meet-up in Milan, Italy, organized by Ushahidi.
Ushahidi has an exceptionally strong user-base in Italy: there have been 165 separate deployments of Ushahidi and many deployers actively contribute to our software and documentation. Milan is also a member of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities challenge and served as an ideal testing ground to see how Ushahidi can develop programs that include direct interaction with our users. The value of engaging communities with in-person meet-ups and workshops goes beyond training users about our tools, but also creates synergy by providing a forum for people who may be working on the same problems to meet and begin sharing knowledge.

For Ushahidi, these gatherings allow us to discover new users, new uses of our tools, and to receive feedback from those who regularly use them. This informs the evolution of our technology and the structure of our programs to serve their needs. It also informs how we translate our tools and user manuals. We are currently working with volunteers from the Italian community to create a user guidein Italian (based on our recently updated guide) and on translation of other Ushahidi products. This way, Ushahidi builds capacity for training and support within a network that can continue to replicate and scale their efforts.

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And thank you very much for the lovely evening @AngieNicoleOD @Shadrocker and Michelle Hamilton-Page

ushahidi milan meetup july2015