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WeGov

Techies Gather in Port Au Prince for Haiti's First Hackathon

BY Tate Watkins | Monday, February 11 2013

Participants in Haiti's first hackathon (credit: Tate Watkins)

Computer science graduate student Richardson Ciguené describes Haiti's first hackathon with a play on a local term: "konbit technologie." “A konbit,” Ciguené explains, “is something that, in the countryside, where people live more off of the earth, they’re farmers, so they make a group. One day they work the field of one person, the next day they work the field of another person. They do that until everyone’s field is worked.”

The hackathon had the same core concept. It brought technologists and civil society workers together to start working on some of the nation's toughest problems. Read More

WeGov

After Transforming Warfare, Drones Set to Enter the Domestic Scene

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, February 4 2013

A commercially available Quadrocopter drone (Wikimedia Commons)

A lot of modern conveniences have shadowy military roots — think the Internet and the microwave oven – but could drones soon be making an appearance at backyard BBQs and small-town police stations near you? Lev Grossman writes in Time this week that a domestic drone future is on the horizon for the US — and that it may arrive before the government or civilians can work out the ethical and constitutional implications of their use. Read More

WeGov

A New Map Aims to Show Where the Well Runs Dry and Who's to Blame

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, February 1 2013

The WRI's Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas.

One out of six people worldwide do not have stable access to safe water sources. With the global population projected to reach 9 billion in the next few decades, the water crisis may soon be named the most pressing issue of the 21st century. A new mapping tool hopes to give a clear picture of worldwide water risk by highlighting the stresses that cause it. Read More

WeGov

Questions About Who Really Gets the Hookup as Nigeria Gives 10 Million Mobile Phones to Farmers

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, January 31 2013

Reports this month that the Nigerian government will be distributing 10 million mobile phones to farmers have many wondering what the return on investment will be for the rest of the country. Read More

WeGov

Colombian App Uses Crowdsourcing to Crack Down on Child Labor

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, January 31 2013

Screengrab from Yo digo: Aquí Estoy website.

In spite of widespread regulations condemning the practice, child labor remains a grim reality for millions of children throughout the world. In Latin America, UNICEF estimates that one out of ten children between the ages of 5 and 17 are engaged in some kind of unregulated labor. Colombia in particular has seen rising rates of child labor over the economic crises over the past several years. Read More

WeGov

Volunteers Crowd Source a Map to Improve Urban Life in Nigeria's Capital City

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, January 29 2013

A weeklong mapping initiative that kicked off last Saturday in the Nigerian capital of Abuja aims to crowdsource accurate, up-to-date information about the city’s amenities and public facilities. Read More

WeGov

In India More People Have Phones than Toilets, But Society is Not More Mobile

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, January 28 2013

Twenty years ago, making a telephone call from a rural village in India likely meant a trek down to the lone public phone in the town square. Today, although there’s still a 50,000-person-deep waiting list for landline installation in private homes, mobile phones have radically transformed the country, breaking down barriers in communication, commerce, and access to services. Yet in society that retains its deep class stratifications, how significantly has mobile communication improved life for the poorest Indians? Read More

WeGov

Hack Day Brings Tech Solutions to Refugees Seeking Family Members

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, January 25 2013

Developers at last weekend's Refugees United Hack Day

The world population of refugees displaced both within their home country’s borders and to harboring nations numbers in the tens of millions. Four fifths of that population is accounted for in the developing world, where humanitarian crisis cuts across communities, often separating families. On January 19, London-based developers worked to create new solutions for reconnecting these families, at the second Refugees United Hack Day. Read More

WeGov

For Recovering Liberia, Tech Hub a High-Speed Link to a Digital Future

BY Tamasin Ford | Tuesday, January 22 2013

Graduates of a course for women at iLab Liberia (image: iLab Liberia)

Struggling to recover from a devastating civil war, few Liberians have access to computers or even electricity. In the capital city of Monrovia, an Ushahidi initiative called iLab Liberia is an oasis where instructors teach courses in everything from basic computer skills to programming languages. Read More

WeGov

As Prop, Cudgel or Sensor, Digital Maps Have a Future in Global Activism

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, January 16 2013

Screenshot from sahelresponse.org

Over the past five years, mapping has become an indispensable part of our daily lives, whether it is used for commercial purposes or crisis management. While some development workers and community organizers feel it is overhyped as a tool for certain types of crisis management, crisis workers and aid agencies find it indispensable. Read More