Ushahidi Platform Modernization (2022)

Oct 19, 2022

The Ushahidi Platform is currently undergoing changes and modernization to improve the experience of its users and contributors. In this blog post, we will discuss everything that will help you understand the Ushahidi Platform and its modernization. We’ll cover:

  • what the Ushahidi Platform is
  • problems, and the overall improvements or fixes happening on the Platform
  • what the benefits of modernizing the Platform are, and who will benefit from it


Introduction: What is the Ushahidi Platform?

The Ushahidi Platform is a crowdsourcing software application that benefits individuals, community groups, governments, activists, and organizations by enabling them to collect, manage and analyze data from their communities. Users can then take action where necessary, based on the information gathered through the dedicated platform deployment (i.e. instance) for that particular cause.

The Ushahidi Platform was created in 2008 to help map incidents during the 2007 Kenyan elections. Over the years, it has become an essential tool for addressing social, political, and public health challenges and fostering meaningful change. It is generally used for (but not limited to) election monitoring, crisis response, and human rights reporting. You can read about how it was used in Kenya’s 2022 election, and also check out the deployments to better understand how it's being used.


Problems, and why modernize the Ushahidi platform?

The Platform’s frontend code is built with the AngularJS framework, which was discontinued in December 2021. With the framework no longer receiving updates, users could be exposed to many bugs and security risks. Generally, the support that engineers/contributors can offer to users of discontinued applications is limited. As a result, the reliability of such applications reduces with time, making them more stressful to maintain and less desirable for contributors (working on code).

The Platform also needed a revamp in design and user experience. The existing design does not reflect current trends updated applications have in 2022.




Modernization project and timeline

From August - Mid December 2022, we want to have the new Ushahidi Platform, and that is ‘feature complete’ i.e. all previously existing features on the old platform should be on this new one too. In summary, the Ushahidi team is working with the ProCoders team to:

  • Migrate from the AngularJS framework to the modern Angular 14 framework
  • Improve the overall maintainability, usability, and reliability of the platform
  • Improve the overall design and user experience, including making the purpose of each of the platform’s features clear to users.


Who will benefit?

As mentioned earlier both users and contributors will benefit from the modernization of the platform. Users will now interact with a fresh user interface that has an intuitive look and modern design. This will improve user experience and make navigating the platform easier. There will also be better support from engineers/contributors, making it easier to fix bugs.

Contributors (particularly those who contribute to code) will have access to enough support and support materials available online when working on Ushahidi’s code base, now that recent technology is being used. The new platform offers an opportunity for growth to contributors, through the knowledge gained from contributing to it.



We hope that this introductory blog post has helped to understand the new changes going on in the platform, the reason behind it, and the benefits. See you in the next blog post on this topic.