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Connecting Grassroots to Government for Disaster Management

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Live video for "Connecting Grassroots to Government for Disaster Management" will appear in this space Thursday, September, 13, 2012 at 11:00am EDT

Event Details

USAID’s Development Credit Authority utilizes risk-sharing tools to encourage private financial institutions to increase financing for creditworthy but underserved borrowers. Geovisualization of these loans will allow donors, host governments, and the public to see where USAID has helped enhance the capacity of the private sector to make loans to new businesses and could act as a gauge for trends or signal areas for synergy.

Until recently, these data could not be mapped due to problematic and non-standard location data for each loan. Under the policy umbrella of the First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, USAID leveraged federal partners, volunteer technical communities, and the power of crowdsourcing to perform intensive data clean-up and “geo-coding” to understand the geographic distribution of loans and make these data open to the public. Without any additional cost to USAID,, an online platform for hosting released data, was used for crowd-sourcing for the first time.

This case study details technical and policy implementation challenges and solutions to help other government entities explore how to leverage the power of “the crowd.”  This form of engagement is opening government and development to the public in an entirely new way. Interested individuals – from transparency advocates to development students to geography fanatics – virtually sit next to USAID staff as true partners working to solve a complex problem.

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How to participate

You can follow the Twitter conversation on the right and watch the live video above. To add your comments or questions, please list them in the comments section below or send a tweet using the #DG2G hashtag.

  • Shadrock(er)

    Huge thanks to TechChange for setting this up! So glad that all the volunteers have a chance to be part of the project from start to finish! Cheers.

  • Chris Kleinhofs

    I loved volunteering on this project. Incredibly well coordinated.

  • Leesa Astredo

    This project was an AWESOME experience, to be part of a ground breaking event, the collaboration between Gov. and grassroots org. #USAIDcrowd #info4 #SBTF #crisismappers

  • Joseph Marks

    Can you work on raising volume? Especially on Shadrock?

  • Ted Perlmutter

    Did you do any M&E on participants and what they got out of the process, and their input on improving the experience.

  • Ted Perlmutter

    War and Peace :)

  • Katharine Hoffman

    What other applications would be possile for crowdsourcing, other than geomapping? Put otherwise, for what other types of data could crowdsourcing be used (or has been used)?

  • Katharine Hoffman

    Considering all that you had to do to prepare and manage this initiative, did you ever do some sort of analysis of the time/resources spent on crowdsourcing versus what you would have spent either cleaning the data yourselves or contracting it out?

  • Ted Perlmutter

    Interesting dilemma with problems of giving out admin1 data

  • John Boos

    Do you think USAID has a role to play in helping our partners, projects, and grantees connect with crowdsourcing resources and approaches? Any thoughts on what this would look like?

  • Ted Perlmutter

    80 to 90% as good data standard.

  • Ted Perlmutter

    you spent $0, but how much staff time? This will decline over time, but it would be nice to know how much effort it took.

  • Katharine Hoffman

    As someone tweeted, it would be helpful to somehow get a copy of the PPT.

  • John Boos

    @ Katherine – There is a link just below the slideshow window that is called “Download the PowerPoint Presentation” Hope this helps.

  • Ted Perlmutter

    Where is the map? They discussed it so quickly that i could not follow.

  • Ted Perlmutter
  • Ted Perlmutter
  • Claudia

    Was the presentation recorded? if so will it be available? (I’m a volunteer, that missed the first half) thanks

  • Muhammad Ameen

    Excited to take lessons learned from #USAIDCrowd