A guest post from the team running Ushahidi’s Situation Room at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).
Congratulations to everyone involved with Ushahidi-Chile at SIPA for receiving a $10,000 grant from the Mozilla foundation! Our project aligned perfectly with Mozilla Foundation’s mission to promote openness, innovation and participation on the Internet. The work of crisis mapping is more than innovative as it directly affects the most vulnerable people at Chile who are struggling after the earthquake. Thanks to this grant, our volunteers will be able to train local Chileans on how to use and manage the platform themselves.
We hope to use a small part of this grant to recognize and thank our wonderful volunteers at SIPA. Although there was an explosion of interest throughout SIPA to help with this initiative, not everyone was able to take significant time out of midterm exams to help. Our core volunteers are motivated and compassionate; the more they help the more they keep coming back. We could not thank them enough for their work, and we are happy that this grant can go in recognizing the hundreds of hours they have put into Ushahidi-Chile. Thank you volunteers!
The majority of this grant will be instrumental in moving this initiative to the next phase: to Chile. We have been communicating with various Chilean organizations to transition the Ushahidi platform to local Chileans. What’s great about the Ushahidi platform is that it is open source and versatile. The immediate need for the platform was to report incidents on the map, but the need is shifting to another direction. What better people to think of how to best utilize this platform than Chileans themselves.