Crisis Mapping and the Middle East: revolutionizing the technology

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  • 1. Crisis Mapping and the Middle East: revolutionizing the technology Anahi Ayala Iacucci Innovation Media Advisor anahi@crisismappers.net
  • 2. Crisis Mapping Crisis Mapping can be described as combining the following 3 components: information collection, visualization and analysis. All of these elements are within the context of a dynamic, interactive map. So typically people use the following taxonomy: 1. Crisis Map Sourcing 2. Crisis Map Visualization 3. Crisis Map Analysis
  • 3. : CROWDSOURCING, MAPPING, AND CROWDFEEDING TOOL Ushahidi, which means “testimony” in Swahili, began as a one-off deployment for mapping reports of election violence after the December 2007 Kenyan elections. Ushahidi is a crowdsourcing mapping system that people to report into the platform by web submission, SMS, Twitter or e-mail. The Ushahidi platform is right now being used in more than 30 countries and 60 projects, from electoral monitoring in Burundi to violence in Congo to Early Warning system in the Rift Valley.
  • 4. WHAT IS USHAHIDI? Platform Methodology
  • 5. WHAT IS USHAHIDI? Platform Methodology
  • 6. Case studies: • Egypt: “The Bee Project” • Sudan: “The Jan30 Crowdmap”
  • 7. • 2,700 reports • 211 pictures • 323 videos • 91.3% ✓ • 56,928 hits
  • 8. Editorial Board Cairo Mansoura Said Assuit Alexandria Regional Coordinator Verification Team Mapping Team Electoral Monitors Journalists NGOs Crowd
  • 9. SECURITY • Lebanon Team • US support (SIPA New Media Task Force Team, VTC) • Security protocols with different options • Phone check in case of arrest • Use of Skype for internal communication (PSW) • Last minute plan to overcome Egyptian law on SMS • Multiple copies of the platform • Separate Domains • Keeping Constant contacts with the National Security
  • 10. HOW DO WE EVALUATE THIS PROJECT?
  • 11. GOAL 1: TO HELP EGYPTIAN CITIZENS AND INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ELECTORAL PROCESS • Publication of the electoral laws in Egypt • Publication of the Egyptian constitution with amendments • Publication of applicable human rights conventions • Publication of up to date news on the electoral process and electoral campaign • 40,000 visited the website
  • 12. GOAL 2: TO HIGHLIGHT AND SEEK REDRESS OF VIOLATIONS OF ELECTORAL LAWS • There are 1500 case of electoral violations in front of Egyptian courts… …but we don’t know if those violation complains are related to the use of this platform, or if the presence of the platform has (or will be) in any of those cases
  • 13. GOAL 3: RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT CITIZEN RIGHTS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF PARTICIPATION IN THE ELECTORAL PROCESS • Online Network where on going discussions were happening: Web Site (media monitoring and electoral education) Facebook Fan Page Twitter Account Blogs (two: one in English and one in Arabic) • Media Coverage 5 Programs on BBC & BBC Arabic Channels. 1 Egyptian Channel (10 O'clock Program) Articles and features in more than 10 different languages More than 100 Press releases (many language) (Local & International) (Printed & Online)
  • 14. GOAL 4: TO PROVIDE EGYPTIAN CITIZENS WITH ACCURATE INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTATION OF ELECTION-RELATED VIOLATIONS • 2700 reports • 44,000 visits from Egypt • 90% of reports were verified
  • 15. GOAL 5: TO EMPOWER LOCAL PARTNERS TO ADVOCATE FOR CLOSER ADHERENCE TO ELECTORAL LAWS AND FAIR PRACTICES IN THE CAMPAIGN AND ELECTION PERIOD U-Shahidi had an impact on the discussion in local and international media about the elections.
  • 16. Sudan: January 30th, 2011
  • 17. Transparency and security
  • 18. Social Media ..or dangerous media?
  • 19. Outcome: • The platform was closed after 2 weeks • All of the activists in Sudan ended up closing their FB pages and disconnecting from Internet for some time • Several people were arrested, tortured, intimidated or disappeared
  • 20. Problems 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Not enough organization on the ground Protesters were very much predictable to the NCP members No previous knowledge on the ground of digital and social media Very skilled tech savvy repressive regime No previous experience in this kind of operation from people on the ground
  • 21. What is next?
  • 22. People will use new technologies no matter what! (and even if they do not really know how..)
  • 23. Technology is not bad.. people are!
  • 24. The more people have access to technology and the more technology it is easy to use, the more we need to be there to teach, share, inform and build local capacity.
  • 25. What do people not necessarily know? 1. Data Protection 2. Security 3. Do Not Harm 4. Privacy
  • 26. Are we in front of the rise of new rights? • • • • • Right to internet? Can the internet harm? What is privacy on Facebook and Twitter? Can you remotely violate a national law? Intelligence vs privacy
  • 27. So, what to do? 1. Share lessons learned 2. Create new protocols, new standards 3. Talk about failures and risks 4. Make sure people do know what they do (easier to say than to do) 5. Get the broader community involved 6. Let people understand that if there is no preparation on the ground technology can only make it worst
  • 28. Thank you! Anahi Ayala Iacucci Innovation Media Advisor anahi@crisismappers.net