Blog

By Grace Chimezie | November 8, 2019
Tech and Governance
On October 30th, Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, announced in a series of tweets that the platform will put a global ban all forms of political advertisements - a move widely praised by users of the platform (at least according to one survey). The new policy is planned to go into full effect on November 22nd. “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” Dorsey said. The move comes in the build up to the US 2020 Presidential election and the anticipated UK...
By Grace Chimezie | October 29, 2019
Tech and Governance
My name is Grace Chimezie, and I am delighted to be a recent addition to the NDITech team. I have been welcomed warmly by brilliant thinkers, invested in strengthening NDI’s core democratic principles. During the next several months, I’ll be serving as a project assistant, collaborating on tasks related to DemTools, exploring how citizens engage with their governments through technology, promoting an open and democratic Internet, as well as strengthening NDItech’s digital...
By Chris Doten | August 14, 2019
Computers running the Apollo DemTool in Zambia
Here at NDI we’re looking for a new team to design and manage the exciting process of building products to scale to serve hundreds of democracy and human rights organizations around the world!   NDI is hiring a Product Manager to shepherd the architecture, human-centered design, and development of products at NDI, particularly our DemTools initiative. Our partners are  critical pillars of democratic society - local governments, elected officials, civil society groups, and...
By Kristi Arbogast | April 11, 2019
Human Centered Design with DemTools
RSVP for April 24  Human-centered design has revolutionized the development of technology--but this people-first approach has been largely absent in software for international development.  Join NDI and a panel of experts to discuss how integrating human-centered design in technology-powered projects can increase their impact, and how the approach improved the third-generation of DemTools--a suite of open-source products that have helped partners around the world monitor elections,...
By Priyal Bhatt | March 27, 2019
Design Sprint with LTA
Every day civic activists, organizations, and governments are working to incorporate 21st century tools into antiquated practices and systems. NDI’s TechCivica Initiative aims to support this transformation--whether through an online data storytelling course for civic technologists or datathons on transparency and security issues in Mexico and Guatemala. Yet, programs designed around civic technology are particularly susceptible to the problem of sustainability. How do you ensure that...
By Kristi Arbogast | February 19, 2019
astronaut floating over earth
Hello, world! I just joined the NDItech team as a project assistant. I’ll be devoting a good amount of my time to the Open Internet for Democracy Initiative and anything pertaining to protecting democracy from technology. I’m looking at you, disinformation!   For the past three years, I helped run a social enterprise and collaborative community called Open Gov Hub in downtown Washington, D.C. Creating a community of changemakers focused on issues of transparency, accountability...
By NDI Tech | November 28, 2018
We're Hiring
Passionate about using the right tech for human rights? Interested in innovative ways to connect governments and citizens? Got ideas how social media could actually support democracy rather than fuel the current dumpster fire? See uses for blockchain beyond bitcoin? Do you have an excellent taste in gifs? The NDItech team could be the perfect place for you! We work with civic groups, legislators, and political parties in 60+ countries to design and implement global programs which strengthen...
By Priyal Bhatt | November 8, 2018
DemGames
As the Technology Innovation team at NDI, we are always looking for new approaches to build impactful platforms. One of our recent pilot projects—DemGames—offers our partner organizations an opportunity to engage youth on civic and voter education issues through an interactive gaming platform. As we began to think of the many ways a gaming platform could contribute to a youth debates program in Guatemala, we decided to run a three-day design sprint back in April to develop a low-...
By Chris Doten | October 25, 2018
A look at the DemocracyNotary.org home page
“Who you gonna believe” – as the comics say – “me, or your lyin’ eyes?” When it comes to politics, cognitive bias has always given citizens a strong push to believe “their side,” whatever the evidence to the contrary suggests. As disinformation swamps the internet, the problem has become much worse with lyin’ evidence that’s all too easy to believe. Increasingly, information is forged or manipulated. Convincing but fake, this...
By Priyal Bhatt | October 24, 2018
Tech Civica Datathon, Guatemala
Civic organizations, government, and activists are becoming more adept at using digital technologies to engage on community issues, participate in public discourse, and stay connected. This civic technology-- such as online petition platforms, feedback mechanisms, and collaboration tools-- can improve government service delivery, bring transparency to opaque decision making, and create a strong social fabric and network of participation. (tldr: we think civic tech is pretty cool.) Since 2016,...
By Julia Rhodes | October 12, 2018
Internet of things
Good news! California just passed a law requiring all Internet-of-things (IoT) devices to have unique, secure password. According to Broadband Genie’s survey of UK and US consumers, 51% of respondents hadn’t taken any kind of security precaution for their IoT knick-knacks. However, with simple username-password combinations (think: admin/admin), wireless routers, internet-connected cameras, and even the unsuspecting microwave can serve as vectors for attacks. The infamous Mirai...
By Julia Rhodes | October 1, 2018
Roughtime
Last week, Cloudflare announced it would support Google’s Roughtime, a protocol that (roughly) keeps the internet’s clocks in synch. Accurate time is critical for cybersecurity, particularly for verifying encryption (SSL) certificates. (You might see these as the “Secure” or “Not Secure” lock icons in your address bar.) Network Time Protocol (NTP) usually governs clock synchronization, but it lacks strong security protections. That’s where Google...