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WeGov

Bulgaria Employs Online Tools to Ensure Safe and Fair Elections

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, May 9 2013

Bokyo Borisov after his resignation via Wikipedia

While some activists threaten violence in the run up to Bulgaria’s upcoming election on May 12, others have created online tools to help inform voters and safeguard the electoral process.

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WeGov

Internet You Can Actually Stick in a Suitcase

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, May 7 2013

Erik Hersman, aka @whiteafrican, in a Brck video screengrab

More than six months after Hurricane Sandy knocked Verizon’s landlines and Internet service out of commission, there are New Yorkers still waiting for their Internet to come back online. While a rarity in the States, unreliable access is not so uncommon in developing countries. A new device from Ushahidi hopes to solve that problem. Read More

WeGov

Mapping Violence Against Journalists, Social Media Users and Bloggers in Mexico

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, May 3 2013

Screengrab from crowdsourced map

In a country where 87 journalists have been killed and 17 have disappeared since 2000, a new crowdsourced map offers a safe way to report and record attacks against journalists, bloggers, Facebook and Twitter users. A combined effort between Freedom House and the International Center for Journalists, as of May 3 the map already had 48 reports. Reports included physical, judicial, psychological and digital attacks.

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WeGov

In Syria, Can Crowdmapping Technology Help Women Under Siege Find Justice?

BY Anna Therese Day | Tuesday, February 26 2013

Screenshot from Women Under Siege: Syria.

Human rights organizers utilize crowdmapping technology for the first time in history to document sexualized violence in Syria’s ongoing war. Read More

WeGov

Can Technology and "Testimony" Prevent Violence in Kenyan Elections?

BY Sara Jerving | Wednesday, February 6 2013

Kenya's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) campaigning in Kibera (credit: Sara Jerving)

Community organizers, activists and civil society workers are hoping a mix of technology and on-the-ground organizing can stave off political violence around Kenya's upcoming elections. 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

WeGov

In Egypt, Digital Maps Start a Conversation About Harassment that Continues In the Street

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, November 30 2012

Screenshot from Harassmap.org

Several months before the Egyptian revolution, a group of Cairo-based volunteers launched Harassmap, an Ushahidi-based interactive map that provides a visualization of reported sexual harassment incidents. Two years later, the organization has grown and secured its funding. But what role has mapping played in their community outreach work? Read More

WeGov

Crisis Tracker: An Open Source Map that Curates Crowdsourced Information

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, November 1 2012

An open source map mines data from Twitter, curates it and presents it with an Ushahidi-like interface. Read More

WeGov

Ushahidi and the Long Tail of Mapping for Social Change

BY David Eaves | Monday, July 9 2012

What makes a mapping project successful? Image: Trafficking map Epawa SMS

A new website called DeadUshahidi launched recently with the express purpose of tracking Ushahidi mapping projects that experienced little use. While the Ushahidi team responded in good form, but it was hard not to see the website as a shot across its bow.

David Eaves explores why there are so many Ushahidi-powered mapping projects that appear to have fallen by the wayside — and why that might actually be a good thing for people who want to use geospatial data for social change.

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News Briefs

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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