As many of you know, I've been a fan of the Ushahidi human rights reporting website that was launched early in 2008 to monitor electoral violence in Kenya. This past week, I've had the pleasure of working with their team (Ory Okolloh, Eric Herdon) and the staff of Heal Africa in Goma to create an Ushahidi portal to monitor the current violence in Eastern Congo. This Interactive platform allows for direct reporting via cellphone from and within DRC and the US to the web as well as via computer and will have audio, video components, and has a GPS tracking tool so you can map the violence. We also wanted to map the RESPONSE and linkage of humanitarians and civil society groups there and outside N Kivu. This new tool will allow advocates and citizens there to directly tell us via cell phones or computers what they are witnessing. T
The site has just gone live today.
In anticipation of the question of security - and protecting the identify of people reporting - this is done by passing email or cell phone messages to to project team in Goma that will upload and vet messages.
Local reports in DRC can be made by calling a mobile phone. In Goma: 099 87 53 664; from the US: 243 99 87 53 664. .
The website URL is: http://blog.ushahidi.com/index.php/2008/11/07/ushahidi-deploys-to-the-co...
Please spread the word and help us make it a valuable resource for Congo monitoring and bringing forth the experience and stories of Congolose colleagues and citizens in N Kivu who are under fire as fighting continues there. We want to make sure the media is informed, so please share with your media colleagues too.
The Usshahidi DRC site will be in French and English.
We encourage us to use the tool and share it widely. You can post reports easily, and soon there will be media archives and blogs and email updates that are specific to the conflict in Eastern Congo. The focus is limited to North Kivu for now, but internal discussions are underway to look at S Kivu and Kinshasa as this project expands.
A simple 'how to' and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guide will be available soon and for circulation to colleagues who may not have used a cell phone to report by SMS or receive alerts.
Thank you. Let's make this tool work to help our Congolese colleagues and the many aid and other groups who are trying to help them in the midst of fighting.
Anne-christine d'Adesky Producer & Host Talk to the Future firstname.lastname@example.org (415) 648-1728 (415) 690- 6199
'Talk to the Future: A Public Conversation with Today's Boldest Voices'