With the generous support of The ICT4Peace Foundation, Ushahidi was able to develop a custom plugin to assist the administrators of deployments to analyze and verify information. The plugin takes into account the feedback and suggestions provided by ICT4Peace, owing to its extensive experience in peace building, crisis management and humanitarian aid.
What does the plugin do?
It provides a information qualification mechanism.
Messaging to the public submitting the information needs to include the prompt to tell people to qualify the information.
It is optional at this time, but can be customized further by future deployments. What happens is that when the information is filled in, e.g that the person either witnessed it or has provided a link to pictures/documentation, that the information appears on a grid for the administrator to consider amongst other criteria. The tool also provides an interface for the administrator to view reports within a certain proximity in order to help them make a verify/approve decision. This is done by the use of three filters. Distance, time and category.
This is an example of the Analysis tool in use on the site Uchaguzi TZ. Uchaguzi Tanzania is a joint project with Sodnet from Kenya, as well as TACCEO, which is comprised of a number of local Tanzanian organizations and led by the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) from Tanzania. The site gives you a glimpse of the citizen participation in the election. Note that this was the first time that the plugin was tested and used in the field, both ICT4Peace and Ushahidi hope to build upon the feedback received from the team working on Uchaguzi TZ.
The analysis plugin works best with a team of trained personnel who can ascertain the veracity of the information and indicate this appropriately on the grid. It is but one tool in their arsenal for handling information flow. With the ICT4Peace support, Ushahidi is able to provide the plugin for use by any deployer who is already using the Ushahidi platform. You may download it from our plugin site and be sure to also watch for the upcoming 2.0 release of the platform in the coming days.
Further opportunities that we welcome the greater community to help with
- Building upon this and making it mobile, imagine reporters in the field being able to flag reports and help validate information on the front end
- Further testing and feedback: If you are running a project that requires the analysis tool, try it out and let us know what you think of the tool and how we can improve it.
Combining several verification points in the software, on the front end and back end allows us to get closer to the holy grail of 100% verification. Which is nearly impossible, but a worthy goal to pursue through plugins such as this.