We will have some amazing people, organizations, and technologies in the house in Amman. First, we welcome UNICEF Iraq with a high-level delegation of representatives. We are thrilled to have you in Amman!
Here are some of the projects sending representative:
Souktel, an incredibly exciting SMS platform in MENA that links young people with jobs, aid-seekers with aid organizations, and provides information that people need - on their mobile phones.
Nijel, where “we create maps that tell powerful stories and have real community impact. Across the globe, NiJeL uses high performance mapping to identify and mitigate social, economic, and environmental problems in poor communities now so they don’t become humanitarian disasters later. We think our maps can be potent decision-making tools that can, among other things, help communities advocate for better living conditions.:”
Al Jazeera which uses mobile tech in its mobile media unit in innovative ways. Some of the projects and services include the Journalists mobile toolkit, field reporting applications and development and deployment of Al Jazeera News websites, as well as the growing role of mobiles in field reporting. Most recently, Al Jazeera implemented the incidence reporting and mapping platform Ushahidi for incidence reporting during the conflict in Gaza.
Ushahidi will, of course, be represented by one of the technical leads of their team. Ushahidi is a platform that any person or organization can use to set up their own way to collect and visualize information. The core platform allows for plug-in and extensions so that it can be customized for different locales and needs.
One of the fully localized Arabic implementations of Ushahidi in the region recently was Sharek961 in Lebanon. We welcome key leaders from the project.
Ushahidi is not the only platform for crowdsourced data from the ground, however, that will be in Amman. We welcome Groundtruth, Virtual Gaza, Managing News/Development Seed, and Cartagen. Check them out now - or wait, since you will hear a lot more about all of the people behind the platforms!
We will have members of the Open Mobile Consortium - collaborating organizations with a suite of extraordinary mobile tools for humanitarian relief and health.
Last but not least, UNICEF Innovation, our erstwhile co-hosts, will demo and feature its many open-source platforms such as RapidSMS.
We will be posting interviews and reports both here and on the English-language workshop wiki. We look forward to having you come along for these three days to uncover some of the key issues in collecting distributed data, mobile tech, analysis, and visualization.