[Post co-written with John Etherton and Lt. Col. Dave Foster] Building on a partnership established during Liberia's 2011 General Elections, Ushahidi Liberia has been working with the United Nation’s Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to create an Ushahidi instance that facilitates information coordination for UN field-based operations across West Africa. In collaboration with Lt. Col. David Foster, founder of the UNMIL Situational Awareness Visualization Environment (USAVE) Initiative, Ushahidi Liberia has developed a pilot instance populated with sample data from the Mission. If it proves useful, the instance will be further customized to serve as the Mission's primary information management tool. “USAVE is not a thing or a single website," says Foster. "It is a change of organizational culture and processes, powered by existing technologies like Ushahidi. Using existing tools and a streamlined approach will allow UNMIL personnel to rapidly share, view and understand relationships between operational datasets and the environment.  See, share, act! - This is the focus of the USAVE team, and Ushahidi is the central element enabling our vision.”   [caption id="attachment_7966" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="USAVE instance customized by Ushahidi Liberia"]USAVE instance customized by Ushahidi Liberia[/caption]   The USAVE team is compiling a centralized data repository from a variety of UN sources (UNMIL, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNOCHA and UNFAO) that will not only allow UNMIL staff to view reports geospatially but also see relationships between reports and across departments. Correlating reports will allow users to quickly identify trends that would be virtually impossible using standard reporting mechanisms such as written reports, as is the custom at the Mission in Liberia. Currently no centralized repository exists and information known by one department in UNMIL, as well as other UN agencies, may never be known by another. The USAVE instance is intended to better position Liberia's UN agencies to make decision-grade analysis more efficiently, thus allowing UN resources to be even more effectively directed. The USAVE instance not only contains UN-gathered data but also links to other Ushahidi deployments in Liberia such as Liberia's Early-Warning and Response Network that constitutes the most comprehensive source of early warning data in the country. Foster states, “The value of linking to other instances cannot be understated.  The eyes and ears of our teammates improve UNMIL's ability to truly understand the environment in which we are providing humanitarian services.  For this we are most thankful.”   [caption id="attachment_7967" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Countrywide alerts"]Countrywide alerts[/caption]   In particular, the USAVE team has been making good use of the alerts feature on their customized instance to receive timely notifications. Ushahidi Liberia has customized this function to allow users to create alerts that would cover the entire country of Liberia since many users at the Mission do not work in one region but rather countrywide. Normally alerts are limited to a radius of 100km; now USAVE team members can have the latest information pushed to them from across Liberia. The alerts function also allows the USAVE members to filter what they receive by category to prevent information overload. At this point, UNMIL and the USAVE team are looking at ways to automatically upload batches of critical information into the Ushahidi instance on a daily basis; UNMIL is also evaluating current information needs to see what other ways of sorting and storing information on the platform could be accomplished.  Because this initiative has captured the attention of other UN agencies in Liberia, it will soon be re-branded to better represent the diversity of actors involved. Many of these agencies have had success using tools and processes to collect, manage and share information on a small scale.  Their processes, coupled with USAVE requirements and the Ushahidi platform may very well change the way UN missions around the globe “See, Share, Act.”  The Ushahidi Liberia team is excited to move forward with the pilot and explore ways of supporting USAVE for the people of Liberia and beyond.