Ushahidi is one of several new nonprofits specializing in developing free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping, providing tools for communities to crowdsource real-time information using SMS, email, Twitter and the web. Actively engaged in responses to everything from the Haitian earthquake to the Kenyan elections to the Queensland floods, , they describe themselves as “building tools for democratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories.”
We’re a disruptive organization that is willing to take risks in the pursuit of changing the traditional way that information flows
“Ushahidi”, which means “testimony” in Swahili, was a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Since then, the name “Ushahidi” has come represent the people behind the “Ushahidi Platform”. Our roots are in the collaboration of Kenyan citizen journalists during a time of crisis. The original 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 website had 45,000 users in Kenya, and was the catalyst for us realizing there was a need for a platform based on it, which could be use by others around the world.
Since early 2008 we have grown from an ad hoc group of volunteers to a focused organization. The team is comprised of individuals with a wide span of experience ranging from human rights work to software development. We have also built a strong team of volunteer developers primarily in Africa, but also Europe, South America and the U.S.
Ushahidi is part of the The Gov 2.0 movement, which continues to gain momentum around the world. Why Does Government Social Media Use Matter To Citizens?