A non-profit tech company, Ushahidi was born during the 2008 post-election violence in Kenya. The Ushahidi platform collects eyewitness reports from anyone with access to SMS, Twitter, email, or the web. Moderators publish the reports online where others can view them on an interactive map and timeline.
Because the technology works when information does not otherwise flow freely – due to geography, natural disaster, suppression or marginalization – it has changed how people around the world have experienced some of the most important events of our time.
Since 2008, Ushahidi has been used in the aftermath of disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf, wildfires in Russia and the Tsunami in Japan. Others have used Ushahidi for monitoring and observation of elections, to track availability of essential medicine, to empower citizens during conflicts in the Arab world and to give voice to the voiceless in places like Somalia and Zimbabwe.
From 2009-2011 I worked as a project assistant and media consultant for Ushahidi. As part of my role, I worked with multimedia journalist Jonathan Shuler to produce a series of videos for and about Ushahidi. In addition to the flagship video above, we also captured stories about Ushahidi in Haiti and the grassroots response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.