You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >
WeGov

An App to Shield Tibetans' Texts From Prying Eyes

BY Rebecca Chao | Wednesday, July 24 2013

Monks protesting with Tibetan flags (image: SFTHQ)

There may finally be a tool Tibetans can more safely use – at less risk of censorship or surveillance – to communicate with each other inside and outside of Tibet. Since YakChat launched in March, the new messenging app has taken Tibetan activists “by storm,” explained Nathan Freitas of the Guardian Project, an organization that creates secure, open-source communications software. Around 5,000 Tibetans have since adopted this app, though most of them are outside of Tibet. Read More

WeGov

Civic Hackers Build App to Visualize Votes in Argentina's National Congress

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, July 24 2013

Screenshot of Década Votada at work

Civic hackers have built an application to help Argentinian citizens and journalists track the voting records of Congress members. The app, called Década votada (A decade in votes), was the winning project at a Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires hackathon in April 2013.

Read More

WeGov

Google’s ‘White Space’ Experiment in South Africa a Boon for Local Schools

BY Rebecca Chao | Monday, July 22 2013

(image: teachandlearn/flickr)

Back in March, Google began testing a new broadband Internet service in Cape Town, South Africa, and now hopes it can power products in the United States. But it might also be a way to deliver low-cost wireless Internet access to remote areas that wouldn't be connected otherwise. Gigaom reporter David Meyer recently traveled to Cape Town and reports that the six-month experiment is benefiting local schools. Read More

WeGov

Journalists in Mozambique Have a New Way to Get Help Reporting on Elections

BY Rebecca Chao | Friday, July 19 2013

Screenshot of Citizen Desk's beta version (Sourcefabric.org)

The municipal elections in Mozambique are over four months away but short-staffed newsrooms are already preparing to deal with the persistent conundrum: how do they accurately cover the elections with over 2,500 polling stations to monitor across the country? A new tool called Citizen Desk allows newsrooms to incorporate citizen reports into their news stream, to act as eyes and ears for the upcoming elections. Read More

WeGov

SMS and Facebook Alert System Reduces Pesticide Use By 30 Percent

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, July 17 2013

The worm of the coddling moth in an apple (Wikipedia)

Going pesticide-free just isn't an option for many farmers, but overuse is a major cause of pollution. In the Prespa Lake Basin, more than 2,000 species are threatened by the use of pesticides in adjacent towns like Resen, in southwestern Macedonia. Timing the application of pesticides is everything, but with no local media in Resen, it's hard to get the word out to nearby farmers. That's where an information system that uses SMS and Facebook to alert farmers to spray can make a difference.

Read More

WeGov

Kenya Launches a Revamped Website to File Taxes Online

BY Rebecca Chao | Tuesday, July 16 2013

A screenshot of Kenya's new online tax filing system

As of July 1, a Kenyan had two options to file taxes: drive to a local banking hall and wait in a long line or submit them through a clunky website that often experienced delays in filing. But on the first of this month, Kenya’s Revenue Authority (KRA) rolled out a new online tax-filing platform called iTax. It was built in partnership with UBA Kenya Bank and according to the KRA, significantly improves upon its old system, KRA Online. Read More

WeGov

New Platform Aims to Reduce High Failure Rate of Communications Initiatives in Emerging Economies

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, July 16 2013

Screenshot from the SPACE homepage

At a U.N. meeting in Geneva earlier this month, Amjad Umar told SciDevNet, an NGO that analyzes the impact of science on solutions for developing countries, that failure rates for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) projects in developing countries hovers around 85 percent. His company, NGE (Next Generation Enterprises) Solutions, has launched a beta platform that can cut failure rates and costs of ICT projects, and reduce the planning time to a few hours.

Read More

WeGov

Two Mobile Birth Registration Programs Piloted in Senegal and Uganda

BY Rebecca Chao | Monday, July 15 2013

The web application for mobile birth registration in Uganda (image: GSMA)

A recent study by GSMA revealed promising results of two mobile birth registration initiatives piloted in Uganda and Senegal. Birth registration, often a prerequisite for school enrollment and access to health services, are persistently low in Central and West Africa – 39 percent on average. In Senegal and Uganda, the rates are 55 and 21 percent, respectively, according to national Demographic and Health surveys. Read More

WeGov

The Five Star Movement Launches an Electronic Parliament

BY Rebecca Chao | Friday, July 12 2013

A screenshot of the electronic parliament platform (image: http://www.parlamento5stelle.com/)

On July 10, the Five Star Movement (M5S) introduced its long awaited "electronic parliament" platform, Five Star Parliament, which allows citizens to vote, comment and even write pieces of legislation. M5S is an anti-government political party led by former comedian Beppe Grillo. They put out the site just weeks after 15 members of the Italian parliament had launched their own, Tu Parlamento. Five Star Parliament is currently available only to those living in Lazio but will soon launch in Lombardy and Sicily, then nationally. Read More

WeGov

Jhatkaa: Getting India to 'Shake Up'

BY Rebecca Chao | Friday, July 12 2013

Deepa Gupta, founder of Jhatkaa, discusses her vision for the project in a campaign video. (Jhatkaa.org)

Urinating into an empty dam to fill it, using late-night television as a contraceptive and suggesting Valentine's Day causes rape are a few of the public comments made by Indian politicians, as voiced by frustrated Indian citizens in Jhatkaa’s campaign video. Jhatkaa, which means “to shake up,” is a new civic startup pioneered by Deepa Gupta, a young Indian campaigner. Read More