Getting by With a Little Help from Our Friends: Crowdsourcing and USAID Development Credit Loans
USAID’s Development Credit Authority utilizes risk-sharing tools to encourage private financial institutions to increase financing for creditworthy but underserved borrowers. Geo-visualization 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 mining and “geo-coding” to understand the geographic distribution of loans and make these data open to the public. Without any additional cost to USAID, data.gov, an online platform for hosting released data, was used for crowdsourcing 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.
- Shadrock Roberts, Senior GIS Analyst, GeoCenter, Office of Science and Technology, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
- Stephanie Grosser, Communications Specialist and Presidential Management Fellow, USAID
- D. Ben Swartley, Agriculture and Environment Officer and GIS Analyst, GeoCenter, Office of Science and Technology, USAID
When:Thursday, June 28, 2012, 12:00 – 1:30 PM
Where: 6th Floor Conference Room
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20004
To RSVP for this event visit: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/getting-little-help-our-friends-crowdsourcing-and-usaid-development-credit-loans This meeting is free and open to the public. Allow time for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required for entry.
TechChange will be providing online engagement for this event.
- To watch the live webcast on June 28th and contribute comments and questions for the panelists, visit: http://techchange.org/live-events/
- To follow and discuss the event on Twitter, use hashtag: #USAIDcrowd
To check out the archived video of the event and event summary, to be posted the following week, visit:
For more information, email CommonsLab@wilsoncenter.org.
For directions to the Wilson Center visit http://www.wilsoncenter.org/directions
From Google’s Lat Long blog post: “Under this agreement, the World Bank will act as a conduit to make Google Map Maker source data more widely and easily available to government organizations in the event of major disasters, and also for improved planning, management, and monitoring of public services provision. …”
In an All Points Blog post on Directions Magazine (January 16, 2012), Adena Schutzberg notes that “World Bank partner organizations, which include government and United Nations agencies, will be able to contact World Bank offices for possible access to the Google Map Maker data for their various projects. … The data is Google’s. It’s not open to the world under a free data license like OpenStreetMap is. Google makes its data tiles available via its APIs (with have their own restrictions and sometimes, fees). The Map Maker data is not open source (because that license is for software). Oh, and Google’s mapping APIs are not open source either!”
Ms. Schutzberg also raises several good questions that will need to be addressed, including “… how the World Bank will decide if a requester can have access to the data. Is it only during an emergency? Or when one is expected? Or is for long-term planning for such emergencies? … under what sort of terms (license) Google/The World Bank will hand over the data? Will it be sharable to NGOs? To citizens? …”
For full text of Adena Schutzberg’s blog post, visit Google Gives World Bank Map Maker Data Distribution Privileges – All Points Blog.
- World Bank Assumes Control of Google Map Data (readwriteweb.com)
- Empowering Citizen Cartographers (nytimes.com)
- Redesign of Google Map Maker means anyone can make maps (news.consumerreports.org)
by Nancy Scola, Tech President, June 3, 2011 – 4:35pm
Every time something happens in the world these days, somebody makes a map about it.We saw it with last January’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, the rollout of the U.S.’s long-awaited National Broadband Map in February, the personalized maps that accompanied April’s iPhone tracking story. We see it every election. And with the increasing availability of free and open-source or simply cheap mapping tools, and the growing footprint of the open data movement, democratized mapping is likely only getting started. …
- iRevolution | Patrick Meier ||| Crisis Mappers: Mobile technology helps disaster victims worldwide (surflightroy.net)
- PBS Video: Crisis mappers: Mobile technology helps disaster victims worldwide (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Tsunami Mapper – Visualize a Tsunami in Your Area (freetech4teachers.com)
PBS, May 13, 2011
There are now 6.8 billion people on the planet. And about 5 billion cell phones. This extraordinary ability to connect has turned a modern convenience into a lifeline through a system called crisis mapping. It first gained prominence after the earthquake in Haiti, when people used their cell phones to send text messages to a centralized response team. Since then, crisis mapping has been used to help victims in emergency zones following the tornadoes in the Midwest, the earthquake in Japan and the unrest in the Middle East. Today, there are hundreds of volunteers in more than 50 countries creating maps of crises around the world, using a system that incorporates the lessons learned in Haiti. Alison Stewart reports on this worldwide network of volunteers – regular people — using a breakthrough technology to help others.
For link to video, visit Video: Crisis mappers: Mobile technology helps disaster victims worldwide | Need to Know.