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Independent evaluation of the Ushahidi Haiti project

by Nathan Morrow, N Mock
Development Information Systems International ()

Abstract

The Ushahidi Haiti Project (UHP) was a volunteer-driven effort to produce a crisis map after the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The project represents an impressive proof of concept for the application of crisis mapping and crowdsourcing to large scale catastrophes and a novel approach to the rapidly evolving field of crisis informatics. This evaluation was commissioned by the student group at the Tufts University Fletcher School who instrumental in the UHP deployment and is intended to be a learning evaluation as opposed to an accountability evaluation. The evaluation’s purpose is to serve the needs of UHP users and was structured around the Organization of Economic Development’s (OECD) criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability. The evaluation team utilized a mixed methods approach combining surveys of key user and volunteer groups, 30 interviews with core UHP volunteer staff and stakeholders, document review/data analysis primarily focused on UHP message data, volunteer chat forums, coordination chat history and key news sources/blogs.

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