Approaches

A Renewed Vision: DemTools 2.0

A Renewed Vision: DemTools 2.0

DemTools are a set of open-source solutions developed by NDI’s Technology for Democracy team (NDItech) to address some of democracy’s most common problems. The tools, which were released in August to NDI partners, the development community and general public, focus on scalability – providing advanced technologies to make their work more effective, while reducing maintenance and sustainability burdens. NDI recently received a renewed National Endowment for Democracy (NED) grant for the continued development and expansion of DemTools. In deciding where and how to allocate these funds, we reviewed current features and updated our roadmap for product development and version release timelines. We determined that better support, enhanced multilingual capacity and increased usability were priorities across all of the tools.

Product roadmaps exist at the nexus of supply and demand. DemTools are developed on limited resources, but meet myriad needs. For these tools to remain sustainable yet relevant, we need to navigate carefully a winding road, ignoring diversions and prioritizing needs that provide the most value to our users.

To keep our tools nimble and ensure cost effectiveness, NDItech worked to fine tune our product vision: Who are we developing for? What needs are the tools addressing? What value do they bring to our programs and partners? For weeks, our team had poster boards with sticky notes floating around, stuck to walls and taped to the side of cabinets. READ MORE »

6 Steps For Designing A Product With The User

Feature Overload - Source: Dilbert

As you all know by now, we're big proponents of the Principles of Digital Development. One of them is "Designing with the User" which suggests the following six steps:

  1. Developing context-appropriate solutions informed by user needs.

  2. Including all user groups in planning, development, implementation and assessment.

  3. Developing projects in an incremental and iterative manner.

  4. Designing solutions that learn from and enhance existing workflows and plans for organizational adaptation.

  5. Ensuring that solutions are sensitive to, and useful for, the most marginalized poulations: women, children, those with disabilities, and those affected by conflict and disaster.

NDItech's March Towards Resilience - Lessons From Supply Chain Industry

At NDItech, we build innovative software products, consult with the regional teams to solve program needs through mobile and web based solutions, and innovate in the Tech4Dem space with breakthrough ideas and partnerships. In the face of multiple customers, diverse products, and evolving challenges, the NDItech team aims for resilience:  tolerate variability, adapt continuously, and maximize opportunities.

I recently came across a great piece titled “From Risk Management to Resilience” on Sloan Management Review. The article discussed the Supply Chain Resilience Assessment and Management (SCRAM) methodology. SCRAM involves identifying vulnerabilities in an organization and developing and strengthening capabilities to mitigate the vulnerabilities and thus improving resilience.

In this short blog, I attempt to list the key vulnerabilities of the NDItech team and map them to capabilities that we have developed and/or developing to address those vulnerabilities.

Our nine member Scrum team works across the gamut of topics and operates at capacity with very little buffer for additional demands. Our key vulnerabilities are the following; READ MORE »

NDItech - Product Development Process

© Dilbert Project Management

This is the first in a series of posts on the NDItech team’s product development process. NDI’s tech products attempt to solve specific problems for people and organizations in emerging democracies. In this post, will look at the example of DemTools development to get an insight into our development process. More about DemTools can be found here.

For the last six months, our team has been following follow the scrum methodology, which is an agile software development framework, for the development and evolution of DemTools. Agile methodology allows us to be flexible, prioritize tasks, and respond to the evolving requirements of our customers.

We wanted to share a bit about how we’re using this agile methodology for developing tech-powered political change programs here at NDI. In this post we’ll tell you how we relate to people and programs, how we think about requirements, and the timelines for our sprints, and the tools we use to glue it all together.

Customers

For the purpose of development of DemTools, the primary customers are the country teams at NDI. The country teams in turn help political parties and civil society organizations in their respective countries use and benefit from NDI’s technology efforts, such as DemTools. READ MORE »

Tablets in Tunisia: Transforming Election Day Data Collection

Election observers test out the tablets.

In NDI’s 30 years of existence, the Institute has observed more than 200 elections around the world. The Institute’s international election observation missions draw on a network of senior experts and politicians from around the globe as observers and examine all phases of the election processes. On election day, observers visit polling stations to witness the voting process and report findings to the mission’s headquarters in the capital city, where they are analyzed and incorporated into the mission’s preliminary statement on the election. With the advent of new mobile technologies, the process for transmitting observers’ findings on election day is starting to shift.

To take a deeper look at how NDI is using ICTs to streamline the election day data collection process, we sat down with NDI-Tunisia’s Resident Program Manager for Elections, Nicholas Collins. Nicholas recently managed NDI’s missions to observe the October 26 legislative elections and November 23 first-round presidential election in Tunisia, and is leading preparations to observe the run-off presidential election anticipated in December. He was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to chat:

Q: What is the typical process of collecting data and information during an international observation mission (IOM)?

READ MORE »

Testing... one, two, three!

Repetition is the mother of learning

Editor’s Note: Cross-posted from NDI's guest blog on CiviCRM.org 

For over 15 years, NDItech has been in the business of developing technologies for development. One of our newest pet projects is called DemTools, or the Democracy Toolkit. DemTools is a set of four webapps to solve some of the most common problems our global partners experience: civic organizing, managing constituent relationships, tracking election data and fostering civic debates. Two of them are custom-configured versions of CiviCRM, so we’ve been working closely with the core team throughout our design and development process.

The thinking behind DemTools was simple: to design context appropriate solutions for advocates of political change that were informed by user needs and could enhance existing workflows. However, what we learned from conducting a host of usability tests on our Civi-enabled tools was that making them work was anything but simple. READ MORE »

Meet DemTools: Closing the Geek Gap

DemTools: Open Source for Opening Politics

In the last few years, powerful, cloud-based web apps have revolutionized the way business, civic groups and governments engage with citizens. Online campaign management systems helped empower Barack Obama’s supporters to organize their communities on the way to victory; sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) systems help businesses effectively push their wares; online communication platforms connect marketers with the populace.

Human rights and democracy advocates in the developing world have been left stranded in this leap to more effective tools. There’s a new form of digital divide that’s emerged: call it the geek gap. There are a lot of sophisticated open source software systems out there, but free software is a bit like a free puppy: the problem ain't the initial price, it’s the care and feeding over years. In low-infrastructure societies, there just aren’t a lot of people with the sophisticated systems administration skills to set up a Linux server, configure Apache, set up MySQL, and install a web application like Drupal. While there are great commercial options, struggling human rights organizations often can’t write the checks to keep those services running.

NDItech has been working on technology for development for over fifteen years, and we’ve seen the same problems manifest repeatedly. Sustainability in development is hard, and when it comes to tech it’s harder. Keeping the lights on - and web sites running - years after a project ends just doesn’t happen very often.

We're attempting to cut that Gordian knot with DemTools: the Democracy Toolkit. We’re launching with a set of four web apps that solve some of the most common problems our global network of partners have experienced. DemTools development was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). READ MORE »

The Test

DemTools Usability Testers

Editor’s Note: this blog post was the first and regrettably last written by Mavhash Taqi, our extraordinary project manager, who is now headed off to do Great Things with our friends at Internews. Before she left she wanted to share these useful thoughts on testing with you all.

Investing the time in proper usability testing to expose shortcomings in software has huge payoffs. Friendly tools are more easily adopted, result in higher user satisfaction, which in turn, cements the product developer’s credibility in delivering high quality, easy-to-use tech solutions. See: iPhone, the.

As usability fanatics here with NDItech, we recently conducted some in-depth user testing to before launching our new line of DemTools webapps (stay tuned!)

Here are some of the guiding principles we’ve followed while designing and conducting usability tests:

Choose test participants wisely
Your test participants are key to informing the investment decisions you will need to make for improving the quality of a product. As such, its imperative that you recruit a healthy cross-section of your audience.

Participants with past experience with a similar system and who will be using the new one are ideal. For our test, we were looking to recruit NDI staff who had worked as field organizers in an election in order for us to understand the challenges in managing an effective campaign and whether if the system we were testing would meet their needs.

Its also important to recruit an balanced set of participants representing the range of different ages and staff levels who will be using the system, as well as ensuring equal gender representation. READ MORE »

Challenge Accepted: Driving Innovation through Competition

Barney Stinson knew what he was talking about

There’s something about being presented with a challenge that inspires people to be innovative. Perhaps that’s why an organization like USAID launched its Grand Challenges for Development initiative, which is rooted in the fundamental belief that engaging the world in the quest for solutions is critical to instigating breakthrough progress using science and technology. The World Bank’s Apps for Development initiative is another instance where an organization leveraged a competition to bring together the best ideas from software developers and development practitioners to create innovative applications; in fact, we've been writing about these app challenges for years. 

Of course, when a cash prize is attached to propositions like these, imaginations are bound to go wild, as evidenced by the winners of the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge competition, which were announced last month. Working in partnership with the Ford Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation, the Knight Foundation launched their challenge initiative in February of this year, where the posed the question: How can we strengthen the Internet for free expression and innovation? to which they received 704 responses. While the 19 winners (to whom a total of $3.4 million dollars was awarded) all focused on themes related to Internet access, transparency and safety, the solutions they offered were varied. READ MORE »

NDI Study: Participation & Technology

Mobile Phones Users in Senegal.

We’ve recently released a study that examines the role digital technologies play in increasing citizen participation and fostering accountability in government through our programs. Along with many in the #tech4dem community, we’ve known that better insights are needed into the relationship between new technologies, citizen participation programs and the outcomes they aim to achieve.

The study provides an overview of NDI’s approach to citizen participation, and examines how the integration of technologies affects programs. To further publicize these findings we’re convening a panel of experts to discuss key findings from the study on how technology is affecting citizen participation in emerging democracies.

The study uses case studies from countries such as Burma, Mexico and Uganda to explore how the use of technology in citizen participation programs amplifies citizen voices and increases government responsiveness and accountability, and whether the use of digital technology increases the political clout of citizens.

As we’re all very busy people, and may not get the time to pour through a 65 page tome (or flick through an ePUB), we’d like to highlight some of the key findings on this blog. We welcome thoughts and comments on Facebook and Twitter.

READ MORE »

We're In a People Business, Not a Computer Business

We're in a people business, not a computer business.

We recently wrapped up hiring for an intern and wow are there a lot of great candidates interested in technology for development. However, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend; I had a number of conversations with great people who were afraid they maybe would not be qualified because they “weren’t techie enough." Most of these people were women.

Tech for international development is in some ways a terrible misnomer. It’s not a tech business. It’s a people business.
Of the best ICT people I know very few of them have been professional programmers or systems and network engineers. As a matter of fact, the sorts of skills and personalities that excell in those fields may not be the ones that will help design and implement a great tech-focused program with a legislature in Zambia.

To be good at this job, you have to really enjoy tech - someone who likes to play and tinker and have fun with tools, read up on the space, keep on top of all the new stuff coming down the pike. Then you have to be creative and excited about the possibilities of using these ideas to do development in new ways to reach way more people or empower them to somehow live better.

Sometimes we’re like Tom Smykowski from Office Space; we’ve got the people skills to deal with non-technical politicians or partners, and enough technical skills to understand the jargon of developers or consultants. It’s easy for generalists to get rolled by tech vendors with flashy presentations or indecipherable paragraphs of impressive jargon; we have to both stop that and translate the general program goals a team has into an actual technical scope of work in a contract. It's a different language. Of course, in this line, sometimes it literally is a different language on top of that. READ MORE »

Where Privacy Meets Big Data?

Can you see me and my data?

The White House has released the findings of the Big Data and Privacy Working Group Review, a 90-day study commissioned in January from the Obama Administration to examine how big data will transform the way we live and work and alter the relationships between government, citizens, businesses, and consumers.

Big data analysis has tremendous potential for those wanting to understand large trends in public sentiment and behavior. At NDI, we make use of Crimson Hexagon, a tool which analyzes vast amounts of social media data to understand sentiment and prevalence of particular topics. Through our work with the Open Government Partnership, we also encourage governments to make data more open and available for public use.

Yet, as the report notes, “Big data technologies, together with the sensors that ride on the “Internet of Things,” pierce many spaces that were previously private.” This desire to protect privacy rights address a range of concerns reflecting different types of intrusion into a person’s sense of self, each requiring different protections. READ MORE »

Creating a Secure, Inexpensive, Personal Sync Solution

A Personal Sync Solution - BitTorrent Sync
As technology has evolved it has become increasingly commonplace for us as users of technology to expect our files to be where we are. With solutions like Dropbox.com, Google Drive, Box.com, OneDrive by Microsoft we are often allocated a moderate amount of space. Yet with recent revelations about surveillance and censorship by the NSA and others and the cost prohibitive nature of using these tools when larger volumes of storage are required I wondered if there wasn’t a solution that was 1.) Free and 2.) more secure. This led me to BitTorrent Sync. First, BitTorrent Sync is free, although not open source. It works on Windows, Mac, Linux, ARM, Intel, iOS, Android, and several others. It has both desktop and mobile based applications. You can even install it on a NAS device. 2. Your data is only stored on your devices. BitTorrent Sync makes the following security claims
 
“The system uses SRP for mutual authentication and for generating session keys that ensure Perfect Forward Secrecy. All traffic between devices is encrypted with AES-128 in counter mode, using a unique session key. 
 
The secret is a randomly generated 20-byte key. It is Base32-encoded in order to be readable by humans. BitTorrent Sync uses /dev/random (Mac, Linux) and the Crypto API (Windows) in order to produce a completely random string. This authentication approach is significantly stronger than a login/password combination used by other services.“
What BitTorrent Sync allows you as a user of data to do is to bypass the middleman on the internet as the image below illustrates. Much like traditional P2P technologies you are simply downloading files from other devices.

Data Centric for Low (No) Cost

Malawi - Roadside Shop - February 2014

Recent news out of Malawi has focused on the President dissolving her cabinet in the wake of arrests of several officials on suspicion of stealing state funds. The “cashgate” corruption scandal highlights the importance of accountability, and suggests an opportunity for citizens to play a key role. In this tense environment, the Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) plans to evaluate the conduct of the elections by the Malawi Election Commission (MEC). MESN is a network of civil society organizations working on democratic governance and elections.

An important component of that evaluation is the attention that MESN will pay to data collection and observer management. We’ve discussed many times the importance of high quality data in election monitoring, here.

Successful implementation of a common methodology includes preparing materials, staff, and tools. In order to keep costs low, and quality high, MESN has taken a simple and effective approach to communicating with their observers, and collecting and digitizing their data. Addressing key questions of cost (can users afford to keep the system running?) and capacity (does the organization understand how to administer and fix the system?) MESN is utilizing two tools in tandem: an SMS gateway called Telerivet, and Google Docs. READ MORE »

Pitfalls in Tolerance: An Analysis of Twitter Data for Electoral Predictions

How-to-Follow-the-2012-US-Presidential-Elections-on-Twitter.jpg

As we all know, Twitter is a platform for creating and sharing short bursts of information instantly and without borders. Scholars have taken note and analyze Twitter data to “take the pulse” of society. Since 2010 a number of studies have tried to assess the viability of Twitter as a substitute for traditional electoral prediction methods. They have ranged from theoretical works to data analysis. These studies have been inspired by the lure of access to real-time information and the ease of collecting this data.

In recent study, Daniel Gayo-Avello of the University of Oviedo in Spain examined a number of previous attempts at predicting elections using Twitter data. The author conducted a meta analysis of fifteen prior studies to analyse whether Twitter data can be used to predict election results. He found that the 'presumed predictive power regarding electoral prediction has been somewhat exaggerated: although social media may provide a glimpse on electoral outcomes current research does not provide strong evidence to support it can currently replace traditional polls." READ MORE »

"You Were Identified as a Participant in a Mass Disturbance"

Ukrainian Mobile Provider MTS SMS sent to protestors says: "You were identified as a participant of mass disorders"

Ukraine is a beautiful and diverse country that straddles the border between Europe and Asia. From 2005 through 2007 I lived in Eastern Ukraine. During that time I became acutely aware of the importance of mobile technology in everyday life. Landline telephones in the places I lived were rare, and when I wanted to connect to the Internet, make calls, meet up with friends or any number of things I would rely on my mobile phone.  Ukraine's mobile pentration is now near 90%, according to recent data, and mobile Internet access is rapidly increasing. 

It is therefore not a great surprise that mobile phones have been an integral part of the organization and coordination of protests in Ukraine since the Orange revolution and now during the current Ukrainian Protests that started in late November 2013. 

However, this week government manipulation of mobile tech has sent shockwaves across the Internet with a highly documented Orwellian form of tracking of protesters. A text that made its way around my friends and family living in Ukraine and that was widely reported on by international media ominously stated: "You were identified as a participant of in a mass disturbance".  It demonstrates a use of technology to tag individuals easily possible but rarely so openly demonstrated.

It makes evident the escalation in the use of technology to curb protests, and marks a dangerous turning point for individuals using mobile phones as a tool for mobilization.  Tracking people by location with their mobile phones is not difficult as outlined in this article on Mashable. In this case, there was either a request by the government ffrom the mobile providers for a tower dump (something the providers in Ukraine deny) for cell phone numbers in a certain location that connected to the towers in that area, or a rogue base station set up in the same vincity that essentially 'catches' the relevant information when a phone nearby tries to connect to that rogue tower (which, to a cell phone, looks like any other tower.)

READ MORE »

My New Year's Resolution Is Good Digital Hygiene. It Should Be Yours, Too.

It is important to practice good digital hygiene!

If the NSA revelations by Edward Snowden didn’t impress you and you think, “my country is small and has no desire to surveil me”, or you think, “but I don’t do anything wrong and have nothing to hide,” then this post should serve as a wakeup call to take digital security seriously. Reporters Without Borders has a barometer on its website listing the current status of citizens on the net, and of journalists whom the organization monitors around the world.  As of today there are 177 journalists imprisoned worldwide and 166 netizens such as bloggers and people who use Facebook and Twitter for social advoacy. 

Digital hygiene is like personal hygiene: once you start doing it it becomes second nature and you’re better off. Bad digital hygiene, like not brushing your teeth, can lead to gunk. Whereas the gunk in your teeth from failing to brush regularly will put you in the dentist’s chair, the gunk from failing to protect your mobile phone or computer could land you in jail and, sometimes worse, compromise the security of friends and colleagues (and sources) around you with whom you communicate. It could be inadvertently opened emails, that link you clicked but that didn’t go anywhere, or my favorite one from a few years back, that Skype pop-up offering to show you naked photos of your co-worker. The Internet is a cesspool of viruses, trojans, backdoors, worms, and more and whether you realize it or not every day you wade through it to get to the content you really want.  READ MORE »

RootsCamp '13: Free Tools

Roots Camp Logo

Roots Camp 13 is over. This buzzy unconference of field organizers, digital directors, data geeks, and political wonks continues to be an intriguing amalgam of progressive activists growing skills, sharing knowledge, and building networks.

Many fascinating conversations tackled proactive and reactive messaging, mobile advocacy, testing and analytics, data-driven politicking, among others. The tweet stream and archive can be found at #roots13, and here's an initial review by David Weigel on Slate.

Striking the fancy of our @nditech team were the plethora of free online organizing tools that were highlighted throughout the sessions. I’ve posted a round-up of the best-of-breed below. Send any of your own suggestions, and we'll update the list.

Maximizing Your Voice (Message Distribution) READ MORE »

That's Random: RCTs in Democracy and Governance

Random Number Generators

Data-driven decisionmaking has a lovely alliterative sound. It also makes a lot of sense in the international development world - shouldn’t we have good, solid information to help shape the choice of program activities?

Easier said than done, regrettably. Our team has been mulling about how we can use concepts from randomized control trials - RCTs - to get information on what works and what doesn’t in NDI’s tech4dem work. It is particularly important with new technologies that we’re often pushing because often there’s not enough of a track record for these shiny new tools or approaches to determine if they are effective.

In a a randomized control trial, you need five basic things: READ MORE »

Technology is a life changer...

How is technology changing your life?

We often take for granted the impact technology has on our everyday lives. I was poignantly reminded of the importance of technology a week ago when I used my smartphone and the Internet to diagnose the warning signs of appendicitis. Having had the last few days at home after surgery, I began to ponder several important aspects of technology.  Critics often scoff at the importance of technology in development saying that technology has a limited role if any. I do not claim that technology is the silver bullet, yet my own immediate experience indicates that technology has an important role to play in both general human development activities and also more pertinently to our own work in democracy and civil society development.  READ MORE »

Learning ADIDS - Digital Security Trainings for Grownups

I thought it was a brand of athletic shoes, but apparently I was wrong.

I was recently at a training-of-trainers with some of the best digital security experts in the business. We’re working with a crop of young trainers from around the world eager to improve their skills in teaching others the critical - and timely - topics of safety and privacy online.

We’re not children anymore. (I, at least, am nowhere close.) That means, in part, that we don’t learn in the same way that children do - and a lot of the teaching methodologies we’re brought up on don’t work well for adults. We are building out a set of digital security training materials and in the process I’ve been learning about a pedagogical approach called ADIDS. I’ve also been learning how to pronounce “pedagogical.”

ADIDS stands for Activity, Discussion, Inputs, Deepening, Synthesis. It’s a proven approach based on experimental results and sound learning principles - and entirely new to me. This may explain much of my academic career. In any case, by taking a topic and approaching it through these five lenses, one gives a broad audience of adult learners the best chance possible to absorb new, complex information.

People don’t learn everything all at once. It’s a frequent sin in digital security trainings to blast through a complicated topic, say “any questions?,” nod in satisfaction, and move on confident that the information has been absorbed and will be faithfully lived from that day forward.

With ADIDS, you’d go through a series of stages on a given topic. It also makes Death by Powerpoint refreshingly implausible. READ MORE »

Our Digital Future: What's Next for Internet Research

NDItech was recently at an event on Our Digital Future: Ideas for Internet Research hosted by The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. A diverse panel of experts in the field were invited to the discussion: Matthew Reisman, a Senior Manager at Microsoft, Milton Mueller, Professor at the Syracuse University of Information Studies, Brian Bieron, Senior director with eBay, and Carolina Rossini who serves as Project Director for the Latin American Resource Center.

Panelists made a number of interesting observations about the status and power of the internet in today’s global society. Matthew Reisman pointed out that Microsoft, in particular, is interested in studies of how government regulatory policies are affecting the ability of entrepreneurs to conduct business online - which would be most easily measured by conducting econometric research on internet policies enacted around the world.  As trade and services burgeon online, governments are creating barriers that complicate the ease of doing international business. It is important for those researching the modern impact of the internet to consider just how these barriers are affecting businesses, economies, and people, especially in a world where eCommerce has grown to encompass over 6 percent of the global retail sector over a period of ten years. Milton Mueller further asserted that developing an understanding of intimate relations between technology and social relations is essential, including how [we] are going to govern newly implemented technologies, and what the global impact of this governance will be.

The internet is global and as such has particular impact on the economic possibilities for developing countries. We hope to see tangible data from conversations such as this that makes the point wht the internet - in economic and political terms - is a vital resource for countries worldwide.

READ MORE »

The Communications World has Changed. Have your Programs?

Use current methods of communication.

The cell phone represents the most radical transformation in communication technology for the masses since... well, who knows when. Mobiles are a BFD, and they’re everywhere. However, I’m sometimes surprised that international development professionals designing program plans don’t always recognize this new world. Based on the lived realities of citizens in their target countries, proposals for future work should always use current communication tools in their plans of reaching and working with their intended audiences.

READ MORE »

Tips and Tools - NOI's Organizer’s Toolbox

Photo credit: New Organizing Institute

The New Organizing Institute (NOI) is a community of organizers dedicated to supporting the organizing efforts of citizens by training organizers to build and manage effective movements. The NOI’s online Organizer’s Toolbox provides the basic tools, technologies, and strategies to help community organizers to build movements and achieve real change. According to the NOI's mission statement:

If people have the tools to engage others, the tools to build powerful campaigns, and a community of practice to help them learn and grow, they can win real change, make measurable improvements in people’s lives, and restore faith in our government and our democracy.

This is true not only for community organizing efforts in the U.S., where the NOI is focused, but also international efforts such as those supported by NDI and its partners. The toolbox hosts ten Resource Centers that support various aspects of campaign organization, including online organizing, organization and leadership, data management, voter registration and Get Out the Vote (GOTV) initiatives. From tips on public speaking to registering voters to engaging online, the toolbox covers a variety of the elements essential to community organizing.  It also contains a module designed specifically for campaign trainers, which can support programs that include a training-of-trainers component.

  

Photo credit: New Organizing Institute

Here at NDItech, we are always on the lookout for relevant resources that can support the efforts of NDI and its partners in the field. This online Toolbox is an excellent public resource for organizations that support movements worldwide to develop their message, engage effectively, and affect real change in their societies. By sharing past experiences, best practices, and key tactics and tools, resources such as this online toolbox can support effective community organizing and democracy-building efforts around the world.  

READ MORE »

Crowdmap: The New New Crowdsourced Map

Exciting news from the Ushahidi team - the new version of Crowdmap, a hosted crowdsourcing platform that allows users to share thoughts, photos, and videos with the world, was released this week in a public beta. Crowdmap 2.0 is a newer, more social version of the platform originally designed to provide a simple, hosted collaborative mapping system

At NDITech, we are always looking for new ways technology can be used as a medium for purposes of communication, participation, crisis management, and civic engagement so as soon as our beta access arrived we dove in to take a look.  READ MORE »

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