Introducing Official Partner and Trusted Developer Badges

The Ushahidi platform would not be what it is today if it weren’t for the amazing support of the Ushahidi community. Members of the community continuously improve the open source software, deploy the technology in truly inspiring ways and share invaluable feedback with the Ushahidi team. So we’ve decided to launch an “Official Ushahidi Partner” Badge and a “Trusted Developer” Badge to recognize some of the most active members of the community.

The “Official Ushahidi Partner” Badge is awarded to established organizations who have a demonstrated track-record of excellence in deploying the Ushahidi platform. The “Trusted Developer” Badge is awarded to software developers who have clearly shown their expertise in customizing several Ushahidi platforms. What do these Badges mean for us and what do they imply? They mean that those awarded with said badges are an extension of the core Ushahidi team. They are close colleagues, respected professionals and all around team players. Receiving a Badge implies that these individuals and organizations are Ushahidi experts.

What do these Badges mean to our official partners and trusted developers? For organizations, the “Official Ushahidi Partner” Badge means that we refer potential clients to them first if these clients operate in the same country/region and/or if they focus on a sector that our partners excel in. For our colleagues with “Trusted Developer” Badges, this means we fully endorse them to clients looking for software expertise in the Ushahidi platform. We thus hope they display these badges prominently on their websites, blogs, etc., and link back to the respective blog posts on Ushahidi (to serve as authentication).

In this blog post, we announce our first two recipients. The first is an organization that has not only customized the Ushahidi platform multiple times over the past year, they have also deployed the platform in some of the most challenging environments we’ve seen. Our first “Official Ushahidi Partner” Badge goes to our Egyptian colleagues, the Development and Institutionalization Support Center (DISC), for their outstanding U-Shahid project. DISC customized and deployed the platform for last year’s Parliamentary Elections, during the civil resistance in early 2011 and continue to launch platforms in support of democratic transition efforts in the country. They are also training others in the Arab region on how to use the platform. We are thus very pleased to award our colleagues at DISC with our first Official Ushahidi Partner Badge!

The first recipient of our “Trusted Developer” Badge is no stranger in the Ushahidi community. He has been engaged in the community for almost as long as the Ushahidi platform has been around. He first deployed the Ushahidi platform in Afghanistan back in 2009 and has helped customize a number of other platforms since. He also played a pivotal role in the transition of the Ushahidi-Haiti Project to the Haitian software company Solutions. More recently, he spearheaded the Universities for Ushahidi (U4U) Project with USIP and worked with our team to set up the foundations for our new community site. He has continuously been a team player and has always sported a smile even during the most challenging projects. He is obviously an excellent software developer as well. Our first “Trusted Developer” Badge thus goes to our good friend and colleague, Rob Baker!

On behalf of the entire Ushahidi Team, we would like to expresses our sincere thanks and gratitude for the significant contributions that both DISC and Rob Baker have made to the Ushahidi platform and by extension the Ushahidi community. Many, many thanks to both of you!

10 Responses to “Introducing Official Partner and Trusted Developer Badges”

  1. What a great idea – thanks for sharing, Patrick! And Rob, what a perfect choice for Trusted Developer; his contributions and ongoing innovative use of the platform is an inspiration.

  2. Laura Madison

    Awesome! Tons of congrats to Rob, who is indeed a positive guy and very well deserved! Questions i have: So how can those of us who have launched our ideas for preemptive disaster mitigation and mapped in alliance with Canadian govt EMO agencies get a Ushahidi badge? Myself and my partner built(as you know)and ran in Canada this: http://www.mbfloods.ca as mentioned on your blog here: http://blog.ushahidi.com/index.php/2011/03/20/canadian-mappers-prepare-for-spring-floods/

    What is the fair and open process to apply to be included? I would like very much to be included as an applicant and have been mapping and provided proof of concept as a volunteer mapper/Ushahidi promoter for well over a year now. Is there a equitable process or is it just bestowed on people/orgs you know and favour personally? As with all my recent questions, they have to do with organization/personal transparency not who i “like” or “dislike”..

    Please do let me know the process ASAP via email Patrick..

    ~Laura Madison

  3. Laura Madison

    ps. Maybe you could crowdsource who gets a Ushahidi badge? THAT would be very cool and open.. Just an idea re; open processes and crowd democracy style…

  4. JScarantino

    I agree with Laura in regards to the fair and open process. What is the criteria for earning these badges? Is it going to be open or selectively chosen by the Ushahidi elite as was done above? It would have been better (actually, essential) to see these details in the announcement.

    I’m crossing my fingers Ushahidi takes the path of transparency and openness for the sake of the rest of those who may not operate inside the circle. Lots of people use Ushahidi for various purposes. Ideally and fairly, they should have equal chances of obtaining a badge as anyone else. I look forward to hearing what is decided.

    • Yes of course, these are *Ushahidi* badges so obviously the Ushahidi team selects who is awarded an Ushahidi badge. As noted in the blog post, recipients of the badges are considered part of the core team. So the number one most important criteria is trust. This is about extending Ushahidi’s credibility and reputation to trusted partners and software developers who have repeatedly gone over and beyond. Partners have to be established organizations with a demonstrated track-record in customizing & deploying the Ushahidi platform on multiple occasions. Software developers have to be first rate devs who have customized the Ushahidi platform on multiple occasions (this was all noted in the blog post already). Yes, Ushahidi will be selective about this because we’re publicly vouching for the badge holders, especially to clients and donors.

      Perhaps another way to explain the criteria is by listing qualities/behavior that will *not* qualify for a badge: destructive, divisive behavior, vindictive, threatening, vengeful, manipulative, etc.

  5. Laura Madison

    Thanks for the response Patrick! :D

  6. I’m crossing my fingers Ushahidi takes the path of transparency and openness for the sake of the rest of those who may not operate inside the circle.
    _______________
    Kims