[Guest blog post by Rob Baker, U4U Coordinator]
This morning, at the start of the 2010 International Conference on Crisis Mapping, I’m happy to announce the launch of the Universities for Ushahidi program, a joint effort between Ushahidi and United States Institute for Peace (USIP).
In the case of Haiti, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator, Craig Fugate, publicly noted that this student-driven crisis map was the most comprehensive and up-to-date map available to the humanitarian community.
The U4U program was inspired by the remarkable role that student volunteers played in the disaster response to Haiti and Chile, where they created a live crisis map of the needs in both countries. U4U will bring students from developing countries to learn how they can use the Ushahidi platform and related tools in their own countries.
“U4U training will be run for students by students, who will work together with peacebuilding experts from USIP to identify applications of Ushahidi for their home countries,” said Patrick Meier, director of Crisis Mapping and Strategic Partnerships at Ushahidi.
“We need to begin catalyzing a global network of proactive, next-generation peacebuilders who are trained in these new technologies,” said Sheldon Himelfarb, head of USIP’s Center of Innovation for Science, Technology and Peacebuilding. “U4U is an effective way to do this, and we’re delighted to be working with the Ushahidi team to launch it.”
The first group of U4U students will be selected and trained in the spring of 2011. Our website, http://u4u.ushahidi.com, will launch on November 1st with more public information about the program.
To learn more about USIP’s Center of Innovation for Science, Technology and Peacebuilding, please visit: http://www.usip.org/programs/centers/science- technology-and-peacebuilding.
Official press release: http://scr.bi/dsO4C7