I’ve been a board member of Ushahidi for 6 months. Ushahidi builds tools for democratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories. It was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008 and has been used for many other projects, including tracking disaster relief efforts in Haiti. More recently, the London Tube used it to track disruptions from the Tube strike.
The board meets virtually most of the year – via online and old fashioned conference calls. It can be difficult to coordinate a meeting for 7 people across 7 different time zones – so once a year the board meets in Kenya. I’m looking forward to seeing their work first hand.
I just got an email from another board member that told me that they’re using Ushahadi in Pakistan for the PakReport System! They’re looking for volunteers. Here’s the information:
Give 30 minutes to help Pakistan
Enabled by a global outpouring of support for the Pakistani people, relief aid and resources have been immediately dispatched to the affected areas. But access to relevant, timely, and up-to-date information about the flood remains elusive in this emergency context.
PakReport is a centralized database for gathering information on disaster-related variables, using information communicated through SMS and reports available in the media. With your help, PakReport can create a useful map of the crisis, available and accessible to all. All it takes is a simple text message to 3441 relating your observations of the flood.
Pakreport urgently needs volunteers to process the massive influx of data they’re receiving from the field, through SMS direct reports, media monitoring, and partnerships with humanitarian organizations. All it takes is a few minutes and a few clicks to get this key data ready for the map. With your help, we can make sure relief reaches those who need it most. People from anywhere in the world can volunteer for this effort!
Kindly also help spread the word around!