In his recent article on MobileActive.org, Paul Currion posed the question, “If all You Have is a Hammer, How Useful is Humanitarian Crowdsourcing”. Currion argued that those working in disaster response “…don’t need more information, they need better information.” …
A couple weeks ago, Nick Kristof published a New York Times article titled DIY Foreign-Aid Revolution and Dave Algoso wrote an excellent critique just a few days later in Foreign Policy. Because this is the internet and two weeks makes it venerable news, I thought about letting it slide by, but it’s been bugging me increasingly since then. This is partly because I have worked both at a small 3 person NGO with a great idea and not much else, as well as a large USAID contractor with hundreds of staff members and millions of dollars in projects, and I still cannot decide which is “better.” But it’s also because I think ICT for development has a unique spot between these worlds, and I think it’s going to change the conversation in years to come.