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On the occasion of 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, the ICT4Peace Foundation is 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 have made extraordinary progress in proving valuable information to decision makers in crises. Along with many others, 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 from the field.

In 2009, the Foundation supported the development of Ushahidi’s Goma release by providing the funding and intellectual input to incorporate new features to qualify information input and veracity as well as SMS proximity-based alerting functionality.

The new agreement with Ushahidi, signed in May 2010, will further strengthen these features and incorporate new, cutting-edge information qualification routines and features to strengthen information assurance and help decision makers using the platform during a crisis. The ICT4Peace Foundation considers Ushahidi to be the foundation of its commitment to design and develop a Crisis Information Management Demonstrator (CIMD), as part of its work with the United Nations and the Crisis Information Management (CiM) strategy.

The contribution of the Foundation is financed by the Swiss Government and supports the technology development pillar of the Crisis Information Management (CiM) strategy of the UN, led by UN CITO and ASG Dr. Soon-hong Choi, of which the Foundation is a key partner and helped develop.

The added functionality the ICT4Peace Foundation will provide Ushahidi with will be used for CiM simulation exercises, disaster risk reduction planning and exercises as well as for other crisis information management training purposes and field pilots.