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Crowdsourcing, Ushahidi platform and Indian NGO sector

Crowdsourcing, Ushahidi platform and Indian NGO sector

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Dec 01, 2011
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02/09/2014

 
Crowdsourcing, Ushahidi platform andIndian NGO sector
Posted by Sanjukta 
November 30, 2011
The open source mapping systemUshahidi can be used by anybody to crowd source various crisis / cause driven information. A latest example of this kind of initiative isHarassmap.Women journalists in Egypt are using the Harassmap to report sexual harassment faced by them while reporting from Tahrir Square andotherwise. Victims can send reports anonymously in real time by an SMS or viasocial networks such as Twitter or Facebook .Each of these reports get mapped on the website along with description and detail information. This helps in a visualrepresentation of a crisis across a particular region. Each report appears as a red doton the map of Egypt, the more reports, the more dots.
 
The system is based on an open source free mapping software called Ushahidi.Ushahidi mapping software was developed and first used during the post electioncrisis in Kenya in 2008. Since then organizations across the globe have used theplatform for various cause and crisis driven crowdsourcing initiatives.Crowdsourcing: As the word suggest crowd sourcing is the process collectinginformation, multi media content, news, views, opinion, reports, facts, funds andother helpful resources from the masses is called crowd sourcing. With the help of mobile technology and social media crowdsourcing has become one of best waysto
In India the only use of Ushahidi software was for the initiative ‘
during the last general elections, where people could SMS any election
violations at any of the polling booth and all reports were aggregated on thewebsite. The said initiative is now defunct and that is a matter of grave concern.In a country with such massive mobile outreach it is rather shame that none of theestimated 3.3 millions NGOs registered in India have yet taken up this software toreport incidents of violence, corruption, knowledge sharing etc. The Indian NGOsector needs to take up social technology for making change. There is a need togive power to the people to tell their own stories in their own words rather thanalways playing messiah for them. Indian NGOs have to come out of theirtraditional mind set and use technology themselves and empower the people withthe same.While the Ushahidi platform has been hailed as one of the greatest innovation inthe field of technology for social good, its use have been very limited so far. Beloware some of the known use of Ushahidi software across the globe.In our next post we would discuss why Ushahidi platform is yet to be used in alarge scale by organizations, what are the challenges people face while using it. We
would also discuss two of India’s best crowdsourcing initia
tives
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