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
Summary:Non-government organization NGO activity in developing countries is difficult to track due to limited infrastructure. URISA’s GISCorps, which coordinates short-term, volunteer-based GIS services to underprivileged communities, was asked to assist the Craig Bellamy Foundation in creating an interactive map showing the locations of international and national NGO offices and their programs in Sierra Leon, a developing country in Western Africa. Michael Knapp, a GIS specialist from Anchorage, Alaska, describes how a combination of Esri and Google technology accomplished the task.
For full text of the article, visit Project Report for GISCorps: Geocoding Locations of NGOs in Sierra Leone – Directions Magazine.
Federal Geospatial Information Response Team: Extreme emergency events of national significance that include manmade and natural disasters seem to have become more frequent during the past two decades. The Nation is becoming more resilient to these emergencies through better preparedness, reduced duplication, and establishing better communications so every response and recovery effort saves lives and mitigates the long-term social and economic impacts on the Nation. The National Response Framework (NRF) was developed to provide the guiding principles that enable all response partners to prepare for and provide a unified national response to disasters and emergencies. The NRF provides five key principles for better preparation, coordination, and response: 1) engaged partnerships, 2) a tiered response, 3) scalable, flexible, and adaptable operations, 4) unity of effort, and 5) readiness to act. The NRF also describes how communities, tribes, States, Federal Government, private sector, and non-governmental partners apply these principles for a coordinated, effective national response. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has adopted the NRF doctrine by establishing several earth-sciences, discipline-level teams to ensure that USGS science, data, and individual expertise are readily available during emergencies. The Geospatial Information Response Team (GIRT) is one of these teams. The USGS established the GIRT to facilitate the effective collection, storage, and dissemination of geospatial data information and products during an emergency. The GIRT ensures that timely geospatial data are available for use by emergency responders, land and resource managers, and for scientific analysis. In an emergency and response capacity, the GIRT is responsible for establishing procedures for geospatial data acquisition, processing, and archiving; discovery, access, and delivery of data; anticipating geospatial needs; and providing coordinated products and services utilizing the USGS? exceptional pool of geospatial experts and equipment.
Witt, E.C., III, 2010, Geospatial Information Response Team: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2010?3039, 2 p.
Want to get involved? Try the URISA GPS Corps! GISCorps operates entirely on a volunteer basis. GISCorps volunteers’ services helps by:
- Supporting humanitarian relief.
- Enhancing environmental analysis.
- Encouraging/fostering economic development.
- Supporting community planning and development.
- Strengthening local capacity by adopting and using information technology.
- Supporting health and education related activities.
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