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Tufts Crisis Mapping Class » Class 3

Class 3

Deploying the Ushahidi Platform: Technical and Human Challenges
March 1, 2011
Guest Speaker:
Rob Baker, Konpa Group and Small World News
Presentation Groups: none (to allow enough time for the training)
Blogs Due: CRS, MOH, RC, UNICEF, WFP

The Ushahidi platform has been used to create crisis maps in response to the 2008 election violence in Kenya, the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the 2010 Gulf Oil spill, and the 2010 floods in Pakistan. Teams will learn how to use this crisis map and will discuss the implications of ‘crowd sourcing’ disaster response.

Students will:

  • Learn how to install and manage a Ushahidi platform. This includes the technical skills required to carry out a deployment.
  • Receive an overview of all non-technical aspects of Ushahidi platform deployment, including:
    • Volunteer management
    • Communicating with crisis-affected populations
    • Creating an internal organizational structure
    • Liaising with humanitarian actors
    • Safety and ethics while crisis mapping with vulnerable populations


Readings (due to copyright laws, some readings are available here)

In Class Work

For the in-class presentation, please go here. For the in-class exercise go here.

Assignments Due

  • Due to the snow day, the previously planned assignment for this class has been canceled. We are evaluating the potential of bringing OSM into another assignment but you will be informed ahead of time.
  • For next week, students are required to complete Part 2 the Class 1 Lab Assignment.  Note:  the assignment description has been updated and changed substantially.  Please see here for the updated version.

  • Blog Posts (Due Saturday March 5)
    • All teams are required to submit a blog post (one per team):
    • Write a short (1 – 1.5 page) team blog post with two parts.  First, briefly describe your process and highlight challenges faced throughout the first assignment (the in-class and out of class portions one and two).   Second, write a summary of your program design report that communicates your organization’s overall plan of action to the broader community (in the interest of increased transparency and coordination among aid agencies).  Make to touch on the following questions:
    • * Who is your target population?
      * What is your overall plan?
      * What is your timeline?
      * What organizations are you working with?
      * How will you be monitoring progress?
      * What additional resources will you need?
  • This blog post will be due Saturday, March 5 at 5:00pm.