Jon Gosier is a friend and I’ve greatly enjoyed working with him for the past 1.5 years at Ushahidi. He’s taken the SwiftRiver platform, and moved it along swiftly (pun intended), at a rate that just wouldn’t have happened without him around. Simply put, I know few others that can take an idea, explore the strategies, and execute on them as rapidly as Jon does.

It’s with a touch of sadness, and excitement for Jon, …

[Alena Stern ’12 is an AidData research assistant at the College of William and Mary]

Randomized controlled trials have garnered increasing attention in the development community, particularly with the high-profile work of economists Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee, and their colleagues at the Jameel Poverty Action Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Randomized controlled trials provide a method of research to social scientists that allows for the isolation of causal mechanisms while …

[Cross-posted from Patrick Meier's iRevolution blog]

I’ve spent the past week at the iLab in Liberia and got what I came for: an updated reality check on the limitations of technology adoption in developing countries. Below are some of the assumptions that I took for granted. They’re perfectly obvious in hindsight and I’m annoyed at myself for not having realized their obviousness sooner. I’d be very interested in hearing from …

It’s truly an honor to accept a $250,000 grant from the Knight Foundation for the SwiftRiver project!  It’s the culmination of a long journey that began in 2008 but evolved in 2010 when I joined the project as (product designer) and later Matthew Griffiths (lead developer).

Swift is an open-source initiative who’s goal is to make the process of vetting information more efficient.  The project to date has progressed well thanks in no small part to …

[Guest blog post by Scott Edwards and Christoph Koettl from Amnesty International USA]

Just a few short weeks ago, Amnesty International celebrated its 50th anniversary. Over the course of 50 years, Amnesty International as a brand and a non-governmental organization has become an important actor in the international space—not only as a global grassroots movement agitating for the universal respect of human rights, but as a supplier of credible …

The Universities for Ushahidi (U4U) program kicks off at the US Institute of Peace (USIP) today. This week long U4U training program was inspired by the student run Ushahidi maps for the Haiti and Chile earthquakes last year. Students have always been a force for change around the world and especially in terms of peacebuilding. I therefore committed to launching U4U (see original blog post) as part of my commitment at the Global …

During the response to the quakes in Haiti in 2010, one of the most frequently requested features from Ushahidi users was the ability to turn any web page into a ‘report’ with the click of a button (as opposed to through aggregation). There were a lot of hacks to get around this, such as taking an RSS feed from delicious.com and feeding it into Ushahidi as a way to have a bookmark button that …

[Guest blog post by Jenka Soderberg, a 2011 Knight Fellow at Stanford University and Evening News Director at KBOO Community Radio in Portland, Oregon. She can be reached at jenka [at] stanford [dot] edu].

When I first started working on www.Indymedia.org in 2000, I was really excited about the platform it provided: a way for people who witnessed news events to immediately publish text, audio, video and photos to an OPEN newswire.  …