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WeGov

With Text Messages, Saving Lives Through Timely Words

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, August 2 2012

Sometimes all it takes to save lives is the right words at the right time. That's what researchers are finding as they explore two projects to use text messages in an effort to influence people's behavior. Early intervention specialist Patrick Meier describes how this knowledge was used in conflict resolution — specifically in a project called CeaseFire Chicago, which reduced dramatically the number of shootings in the city's marginalized neighborhoods. Now a Kenyan NGO is employing the same methodology to reduce conflict in the slums of Nairobi. And this is all based on earlier work that a World Health Organization found used text messaging to improve treatment results for patients with HIV in Kenya. Read More

WeGov

Mapping Technology Allows NGOs to Coordinate Disaster Relief in West Africa

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, July 26 2012

Screenshot from SahelResponse website

In a textbook example of how technology can be used to coordinate crisis management, SahelResponse has created a map that helps NGOs coordinate food relief in the drought-and-conflict -afflicted Sahel region of West Africa. Read More

WeGov

Reporter Detained in Sudan After Posting YouTube Video of Khartoum Protests

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, June 22 2012

Protesters at an anti-government protest in Khartoum, Sudan

For the sixth day in a row, Khartoum university students were out protesting massive increases in the price of meals and transportation that stem from new government austerity measures. Reporters and activists on the ground in Sudan say the size of the protests are clearly worrying the government of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir — and government forces are cracking down, attempting to limit people's ability to publish video and photos from a political moment that some are debating whether or not to call the arrival of the Arab Spring in Sudan. Efforts to capture images of the unrest, they say, are being hampered by government forces, including the brief detention of one reporter who posted video to YouTube. Read More

WeGov

OGP Diplomacy and South Africa’s Secrecy Law

BY David Eaves | Wednesday, June 20 2012

Open Government Partnership member South Africa has proposed a bill that would make it illegal to publish or even possess leaked government documents, an early test of the partnership's ability to set new international ... Read More

#StopKony: The Simple Viral Demand That Sparked a Broad Debate

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, March 7 2012

Every part of a viral marketing campaign targeted at raising pressure on the U.S. and other governments to work towards the capture of Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony, called "Kony 2012," is fascinating. (Some supporters also invented the hashtag #stopkony, hence the headline.) The campaign intends to pressure specific American elected officials, using the newfound power of networked public opinion to spur more action. Last year, President Barack Obama ordered 100 military advisors to help the Ugandan military remove Kony. But the campaign's scale and the narrow focus of the advocacy in its centerpiece, a free 30-minute web video with high production values, raised a laundry list of questions about its sponsor organization, their exact goals and their mission. Read More

Advocates Ask for an Open Government to Open Corporate Activity in Africa

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, September 20 2011

A quick hit on the U.S.' Open Government Partnership action plan, released today — the aspect of that plan that seems most likely to make waves is a commitment, per the summary text, to strengthen whistleblower ... Read More

Museveni Government: We're Willing to Order Blackouts on Facebook, Tweeter

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 21 2011

Source: Alan Kasujja With price protests raging, Uganda's telecom authority is telling Reporters Without Borders that they're ready to order the shutdown of Facebook and Twitter: [Uganda Communications Commission] ... Read More

iCow, and Other Apps for East Africa

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, October 4 2010

Remember "Apps 4 Africa," the contest being put on in East Africa by the U.S. State Department aimed at stimulating local developers to build apps that in some way improve the quality of life in Africa? The ... Read More

State Dept. Calls for Apps for E. Africa, By E. Africans

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, July 1 2010

The U.S. State Department and local entrepreneurs announced the launch of an Apps 4 Africa contest in Nairobi earlier today. Read More