This post was originally published on the NDITech DemocracyWorks blog by Lindsay Beck (view original post), a student in TechChange’s recent course at George Washington University. For more information, please consider following @BeckLindsay and @NDITech.

As technology closes the time between when events happen and when they are shared with the world, understanding what approaches and …



You’ve heard of the 90/10 rule, right? I hadn’t heard the concept, at least, until recently. The meaning, though, I learned the hard way—an ICT-enabled project should be 90 percent planning and only 10 percent digital tool. Not the other way around.

We initiated the Nigeria Security Tracker, an effort to catalog and map political violence based on a weekly survey of domestic and international press, at least two years ago. We wanted to answer the question “are things getting worse in Nigeria?”



 

Editor’s Note: This post has been revised to reflect corrections submitted by PeaceTXT and Sisi Ni Amani

I’ve long been interested in how new media can play a unifying/integrating role vs. a divisive/partisan one and, in this regard, I came across some interesting information recently on a tool called PeaceTXT that I thought I would share. But, first, some background.



Mini Biography

Adam Papendieck has an MPH from Tulane University and a technical background in GIS, Statistics and Information Systems.  He is currently the Sr. Program Manager for Technology at the Payson Center for International Development at Tulane University, where his role is to leverage appropriate and innovative information technologies in support of research projects, funded Public Health capacity-building projects in East Africa, and crisis informatics activities with the  …



After 40 years of rule, Colonel Gaddafi is gone.  Reports say he was killed today in a military offensive in Sirte, Libya after a protracted insurgency that was backed by NATO forces.  While there is room for a conversation about NATO’s actions, whether they’re an example of Responsibility to Protect doctrine, and normative questions of supporting violence.  In the immediate though, history tells us that the …



This past weekend Dr. Michael Gibbons and I taught a 20-hour graduate skills institute at American University’s School of International Service entitled Applications of Technology for Peacebuilding. Students came from a variety of AU programs, including the International Peace and Conflict Program (IPCR) in the School of International Service, the AU Business School, and the AU Law School.

We at TechChange were especially excited …



Google Africa has a new Manager of Policy – Ory Okolloh.

Okolloh, co-founder of the very successful crowdsourcing platform, known as Ushahidi, recently announced that she will be stepping down as Executive Director, and stepping into the new position with Google.



In his recent article on MobileActive.org, Paul Currion posed the question, “If all You Have is a Hammer, How Useful is Humanitarian Crowdsourcing”. Currion argued that those working in disaster response “…don’t need more information, they need better information.” He argued that Ushahidi’s Haiti deployment was an example of the failure of crowdsourcing to add value to disaster response efforts and ongoing humanitarian work. This pointed critique …



A couple weeks ago, Nick Kristof published a New York Times article titled DIY Foreign-Aid Revolution and Dave Algoso wrote an excellent critique just a few days later in Foreign Policy. Because this is the internet and two weeks makes it venerable news, I thought about letting it slide by, but it’s been bugging me increasingly since then. This is partly because I have worked both at a small 3 person NGO with a great idea and not much else, as well as a large USAID contractor with hundreds of staff members and millions of dollars in projects, and I still cannot decide which is “better.” But it’s also because I think ICT for development has a unique spot between these worlds, and I think it’s going to change the conversation in years to come.



I just got back from the International Conference on Crisis Mapping (ICCM 2010) held at Tufts and Harvard Universities. The conference brought together key members of the NGO community, United Nations Agencies, private sector players like Google and Microsoft, and academics from various institutions. A number of TechChange friends were also in attendance: USIP, FrontlineSMS: Medic, Development …