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During the high-level debate on 'ICTs for Disaster Management' and the workshop on 'Getting it Right in Crisis Management: Going beyond the hype on ICTs' at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) FORUM 2010 held in May, the ICT4Peace Foundation was pleased to announce a new phase of support for the Ushahidi crisis information management platform.

Ushahidi is a prime example of a new generation of crowd-sourced crisis information management tools that have demonstrated significant progress in relaying vital information to decision makers in crises. The ICT4Peace Foundation recognises that these platforms need to further strengthen information validation by assessing in a timely manner, inter alia, the reliability of the source and the probability of the occurrences reported from the field.

In 2009, the ICT4Peace Foundation supported the development of Ushahidi’s Goma release through financing and intellectual input towards features to assess information inflows as well as proximity related SMS alerting functionality. The new agreement with Ushahidi, signed in May 2010, will build on this platform and incorporate innovative information qualification routines to improve information assurance during a crisis, aiding efficient and effective aid planning and delivery.

This new functionality to the Ushahidi platform will also be used by the ICT4Peace Foundation for crisis simulation exercises, disaster prepardness and risk reduction planning as well as for other crisis information management training purposes and field pilots.

The development of a Crisis Information Management Demonstrator (CIMD) based on Ushahidi is part of the ICT4Peace Foundation's on-going partnership and work with the United Nations and the Crisis Information Management (CiM) strategy, led by UN CITO and ASG Dr. Soon-hong Choi. The contribution of the ICT4Peace Foundation is financed by the Swiss Government and also supports the technology development work of the CiM strategy.