Wide-Angle Lens – Thoughts On What Ushahidi Has To Do With International Development

Nat Manning | Ushahidi | September 25, 2013

In light of all that is going on in Nairobi, I took a step back and started thinking about what it is we do here at Ushahidi, beyond the products, the code, and the community. We often get lumped into this greater industry of International Development, even though we talk about ourselves as a non-profit tech company. So I decided to try and dive a bit deeper, and try and suss out just how Ushahidi fits into this broader discussion of International Development.

International Development – I was surprised when I looked up this term and found the definition to be, “improvement of the quality of life of humans;” pretty simple actually, for the biggest issues facing the world. Historically, international development involves giving financial capital from developed to developing nations, to build roads or hospitals, or giving human capital, to respond to a crisis, or teach at a school. This is important work, but it tends to be a one-way street.  But I find that technology is adding another dimension. Mobile phones, computers, they are lighting up the world. Today, I want to tell you two stories about how technology is disrupting international development.