How Ushahidi helped and grew in Haiti

Ushahidi means “testimony” in Swahili. It is a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Ushahidi’s roots are in the collaboration of Kenyan citizen journalists during a time of crisis. The website was used to map incidents of violence and peace efforts throughout the country based on reports submitted via the web and mobile phone. This initial deployment of Ushahidi had 45,000 users in Kenya, and was the catalyst for them realizing there was a need for a platform based on it, which could be use by others around the world. The Ushahidi team has been growing from an ad hoc group of volunteers to a focused organization.

Its latest challenge was Haiti. The following interview shows how crowdsourced information and technology help and lead rescue teams.

At he Global Voices Summit I’ve talked to Jaroslav Valuch on his experiences with ushahidi in Haiti.

Ushahidi is a free and open source project with developers hailing from Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Malawi, Netherlands and the USA working on it. There are some significant technological challenges and they are always looking for help.

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