I just noticed a post on Mobileactive.org on how technology was used by different organizations to follow the 2011 presidential elections in Liberia. The article focuses on the differences between election monitoring and crowd sourcing and also give some insights in the specific challenges that the organizers were faced with in Liberia. It’s worth reading: Technology in the 2011 Liberian elections: mobiles, monitoring and mapping
The last three weeks were a mix of very intense ups and downs that left me frequently frustrated, sleepless and banging my head against a table, but ultimately gave me a sense of satisfaction that cannot be found in many other jobs: the knowledge that I had a very real, positive impact on the lives of people – and not just of an anonymous group of beneficiaries, but individuals whose names and histories I know.
Those of you who follow the elections in Liberia have probably heard about the violent incident that took place in Monrovia last Monday. A local paper has an interesting article on how the simultaneous outage of one of Liberia’s two mobile phone networks affected people who were close to the riot.
I have written about the logistical challenges in Liberia before, however I was not ready for what I found out today. It turns out that the eggs we buy in Sanniquellie are not from here (no big surprise there) or even from Liberia (surprising) but are imported from India (very big surprise)!
We thought that nobody would object to us giving direct assistance to a vulnerable teenage mother who had just given birth. We were wrong. This is my contribution to the Second Aid Blog Forum on “Admitting Aid Failure?”
For the past three days I have been following the coverage of the Liberia elections on liberia2011.ushahidi.com. Unfortunately, I’m far from impressed. To be clear: this is not the fault of Ushahidi: After all, Ushahidi is just the technical platform and it is the responsibility of others to feed the system information, but it shows the limitations of crowdsourcing information.
Liberians will go to the polls on 11 October 2011 to vote for a new house of representative, a new senate and – most importantly – they’ll decide who will be the president for the next six years. Ushahidi has set up a website to monitor the elections.
Over the last few days I came across a few things having to do with communicating with beneficiaries. The first is a short video about selling condoms in Congo. The second is a sign advising women in Liberia where they can go for help if they have been raped.