Ushahidi Research Seminar 11.11.11
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Ushahidi Research Seminar 11.11.11

Ushahidi Research Seminar 11.11.11
Maria Grabowski, Kjaer, Ushahidi Research Intern

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  • Hi I am Maria Grabowski, I am doing my Master in Social Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. I am currently conducting the fieldwork and collecting data that will later be the point of departure for my Master Thesis.\n
  • My overall question is “...”. \nI see Ushahidi as an example of a global development in technology that really has gained momentum in recent years. Because of this I believe that the premises for social activism have changed radically. Crossing physical borders to a new degree we are capable of sharing information in new ways. To make that more tangible I formed this Problem Statement...\n
  • This all look pretty good on paper, but in real life I found out that is was not realistic to investigate. I knew beforehand that it would be a challenge, bacause Ushahidid software id open-source and the users mostly reports anonymousluy = pretty hard to track down. I realized that it would take to much time just to fins somebody to talk to, so I quickly decided to focus on the deployers -meaning people that either have founded a deployment or people that are part of a core group S right now my Problem statement is super fluffy but it will be soon be tightened up...\n
  • This all look pretty good on paper, but in real life I found out that is was not realistic to investigate. I knew beforehand that it would be a challenge, bacause Ushahidid software id open-source and the users mostly reports anonymousluy = pretty hard to track down. I realized that it would take to much time just to fins somebody to talk to, so I quickly decided to focus on the deployers -meaning people that either have founded a deployment or people that are part of a core group S right now my Problem statement is super fluffy but it will be soon be tightened up...\n
  • This all look pretty good on paper, but in real life I found out that is was not realistic to investigate. I knew beforehand that it would be a challenge, bacause Ushahidid software id open-source and the users mostly reports anonymousluy = pretty hard to track down. I realized that it would take to much time just to fins somebody to talk to, so I quickly decided to focus on the deployers -meaning people that either have founded a deployment or people that are part of a core group S right now my Problem statement is super fluffy but it will be soon be tightened up...\n
  • So now I am exploring ”....” \nBut I still hang on to my original research questions, that relates to - How are they using it, Why are they using it, What do they feel they get out of it, Does it change anything for them. Now change is difficult to measure in the short research time that I have, so I am more dealing with the feelings of change that people experience. My fieldwork is mainly online, but I have also visited two offline locations, which is in Cairo and in Nairobi, bacause there seems to be a bunch of interesting cases here.\n
  • I’m now gonna read some qoutes from my interviews, that will show both very critical and very pragmatic view on Ushahidi.\n”...”\n1 +2 too short sighted - people share information and then what? Some deplyments never go further than that\n3 + 4 + 5 This person is not saying that it changes anything, but at least they found some dignity, and the feeling of doing something was satisfying. \n2 levels: microlevel: the personal satisfaction of contributing to something - and the macro: where is the actual social change?\nLet’s take some more quotes from my Nairobi interviews\n
  • I’m now gonna read some qoutes from my interviews, that will show both very critical and very pragmatic view on Ushahidi.\n”...”\n1 +2 too short sighted - people share information and then what? Some deplyments never go further than that\n3 + 4 + 5 This person is not saying that it changes anything, but at least they found some dignity, and the feeling of doing something was satisfying. \n2 levels: microlevel: the personal satisfaction of contributing to something - and the macro: where is the actual social change?\nLet’s take some more quotes from my Nairobi interviews\n
  • I’m now gonna read some qoutes from my interviews, that will show both very critical and very pragmatic view on Ushahidi.\n”...”\n1 +2 too short sighted - people share information and then what? Some deplyments never go further than that\n3 + 4 + 5 This person is not saying that it changes anything, but at least they found some dignity, and the feeling of doing something was satisfying. \n2 levels: microlevel: the personal satisfaction of contributing to something - and the macro: where is the actual social change?\nLet’s take some more quotes from my Nairobi interviews\n
  • I’m now gonna read some qoutes from my interviews, that will show both very critical and very pragmatic view on Ushahidi.\n”...”\n1 +2 too short sighted - people share information and then what? Some deplyments never go further than that\n3 + 4 + 5 This person is not saying that it changes anything, but at least they found some dignity, and the feeling of doing something was satisfying. \n2 levels: microlevel: the personal satisfaction of contributing to something - and the macro: where is the actual social change?\nLet’s take some more quotes from my Nairobi interviews\n
  • I’m now gonna read some qoutes from my interviews, that will show both very critical and very pragmatic view on Ushahidi.\n”...”\n1 +2 too short sighted - people share information and then what? Some deplyments never go further than that\n3 + 4 + 5 This person is not saying that it changes anything, but at least they found some dignity, and the feeling of doing something was satisfying. \n2 levels: microlevel: the personal satisfaction of contributing to something - and the macro: where is the actual social change?\nLet’s take some more quotes from my Nairobi interviews\n
  • 1 + 2 + 3 Similar to the critical Cairo quotes - Express needs for more participation and more critical participation to take it further.\n4 + 5 - again this epowering feeling of doing something seems to mean a lot.\nI will look further into the dynamics between the personal level and the social/society level. An d I will also intensify my online fieldwork...\n
  • 1 + 2 + 3 Similar to the critical Cairo quotes - Express needs for more participation and more critical participation to take it further.\n4 + 5 - again this epowering feeling of doing something seems to mean a lot.\nI will look further into the dynamics between the personal level and the social/society level. An d I will also intensify my online fieldwork...\n
  • 1 + 2 + 3 Similar to the critical Cairo quotes - Express needs for more participation and more critical participation to take it further.\n4 + 5 - again this epowering feeling of doing something seems to mean a lot.\nI will look further into the dynamics between the personal level and the social/society level. An d I will also intensify my online fieldwork...\n
  • 1 + 2 + 3 Similar to the critical Cairo quotes - Express needs for more participation and more critical participation to take it further.\n4 + 5 - again this epowering feeling of doing something seems to mean a lot.\nI will look further into the dynamics between the personal level and the social/society level. An d I will also intensify my online fieldwork...\n
  • 1 + 2 + 3 Similar to the critical Cairo quotes - Express needs for more participation and more critical participation to take it further.\n4 + 5 - again this epowering feeling of doing something seems to mean a lot.\nI will look further into the dynamics between the personal level and the social/society level. An d I will also intensify my online fieldwork...\n
  • ...to get a sense of the enviroment and the culture - just as in traditional anthropology, but also to get an understanding of the huge networks of people and sites that work around a deployment.\n
  • So there’s a lot of work ahead of me, but I look forward to share results with you when I reach that point.\n
  • Thank you so much for listening, feel free to contact me for any questions and on my blog Maraison youøll find more about my fieldwork reflections - coming up is Patrick Meier.\n

Ushahidi Research Seminar 11.11.11 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Fieldwork on Ushahidi Deployments Background Experiences Challenges Next Steps11.11.11
  • 2. The GistHow an online platform like Ushahidi creates new ways and premises for people to communicate, organize and mobilize in situations of crisis and political conflicts.
  • 3. From a Problem Statement... “ (...) how the users of Ushahidi communicate, organize and mobilize as a network online; and how this type of Cyberactivism propagates to people on the ground?”
  • 4. From a Problem Statement... “ (...) how the users of Ushahidi communicate, organize and mobilize as a network online; and how this type of Cyberactivism propagates to people on the ground?”
  • 5. From a Problem Statement... “ (...) how the users of Ushahidi communicate, organize and mobilize as a network online; and how this type of Cyberactivism propagates to people on the ground?”
  • 6. From a Problem Statement...
  • 7. ...to the Ground “Something” with ‘deployers’ and their motivation, experiences, challenges and successes” agency · empowerment · social change
  • 8. Cairo / July-August 2011
  • 9. Cairo / July-August 2011 “Ushahidi is for action in crisis, but difficult to use for long term strategies”
  • 10. Cairo / July-August 2011 “Ushahidi is for action in crisis, but difficult to use for long term strategies” “You throw some dots on a map, some are taken further, some are not (...) Its not like it is vibrating in social interaction”
  • 11. Cairo / July-August 2011 “Ushahidi is for action in crisis, but difficult to use for long term strategies” “You throw some dots on a map, some are taken further, some are not (...) Its not like it is vibrating in social interaction” “people found the project interesting because it gave them a little dignity”
  • 12. Cairo / July-August 2011 “Ushahidi is for action in crisis, but difficult to use for long term strategies” “You throw some dots on a map, some are taken further, some are not (...) Its not like it is vibrating in social interaction” “people found the project interesting because it gave them a little dignity” “by a click people are changing something”
  • 13. Cairo / July-August 2011 “Ushahidi is for action in crisis, but difficult to use for long term strategies” “You throw some dots on a map, some are taken further, some are not (...) Its not like it is vibrating in social interaction” “people found the project interesting because it gave them a little dignity” “by a click people are changing something” “doing something instead of complaining”
  • 14. Nairobi / October-November 2011
  • 15. Nairobi / October-November 2011 “local understanding is crucial”
  • 16. Nairobi / October-November 2011 “local understanding is crucial” “Need a more critical mass”
  • 17. Nairobi / October-November 2011 “local understanding is crucial” “Need a more critical mass” “the challenge is to end the circle, so that the information is actually used for something”
  • 18. Nairobi / October-November 2011 “local understanding is crucial” “Need a more critical mass” “the challenge is to end the circle, so that the information is actually used for something” “we’ve had positive responses, because people can act”
  • 19. Nairobi / October-November 2011 “local understanding is crucial” “Need a more critical mass” “the challenge is to end the circle, so that the information is actually used for something” “we’ve had positive responses, because people can act” “I’ve seen it everyday, but without being able to do anything about it (...) it’s very satisfying”
  • 20. Online Fieldwork ?#€%&! Monitor deployment websites Monitor Twitter and Facebook interaction related to the website. Following key ‘deployers’ in their online activities Analyze statistics on patterns and traffic More?
  • 21. Timeline July-November 2011 / Fieldwork in Cairo & Nairobi January 2012 / Provide 2 Case Description + a short Best Practice Report for Ushahidi February-June 2012 / Analyzing data + online monitoring August 2012-March 2013 / Turning the whole thing into an beautiful audio montage! (=Master Thesis)
  • 22. mariagrabowskikjaer@gmail.com maraison.wordpress.com