Find ways to assist NGOs in sharing information and avoiding duplication of efforts. One idea is to generate a space for collaboration, communication and cooperation between NGOs. This would be valuable both for election monitoring and disaster response.
The idea here is to generate cooperation and communication among NGOs, sharing both resources and information in a variety of sectors such as disaster response, or election monitoring, for instance. Currently these organizations lack incentives to make information available online. They all have excellent projects, but few are online. If such a NGO-sharing platform were available, it would be ideal to support many areas, such as upcoming elections in Peru, Mexico and Argentina in 2011. For election monitoring, it could provide voting data, candidate contact info, surveys, etc. For disaster response, it could provide a method of planning and coordination prior to a disaster. Existing tools such as "Git up" (sp) and DropBox are useful but have limitations. Ideales.org is another useful model. In summary, a competitive, open marketplace of information among NGOs would be very valuable.
In terms of what needs to be shared, specifically we are interested in understanding what activities each of the NGOs is doing. This might be visualizations or mashups of the information.
Disaster Response Example:
NGOs would have either a widget that they could integrate into a cloud-based logistics management application or an easy to access website where they could quickly provide information per sector on where they are operating or what they are doing. Entering this information could take place from either a mobile device or a website, and needs to be extremely easy.
Election Monitoring Example:
There will be an election taking place in Guatemala in September 2011, that will have a real need for technology enhanced election monitoring. The US State Department is organizing a "TechCamp" around election monitoring in Guatemala in early August 2011 to support this. If this tool was in place it could be used to share data including:
- Contact data: Profiles of candidates
- Financing of parties
- voting information
- Legal declarations
- Location of polling places
- Survey data
The participants in the RHoK 2.0 Nairobi Kenya event worked on this problem at the last RHoK event. Hopefully they will describe their current solution.
But one idea would be a cloud-based platform that allowed multiple people to update a project page by mobile or internet information. Also a map to capture this information geospatially would be effective as well. The main thing though is that multiple organizations would be able to quickly join this and start adding content in a variety of subjects.
- This needs to be extremely easy to use, so that technophobes can quickly engage. It can't have too many functions or steps to get working.
- Mobile based solutions are valued, as many of the contributors won't have access to the internet.
- Description En Español here:
- Video of Natalia Fidel, from Chile speaking about this issue (in spanish)