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The Humanitarian Innovation Fund is funding People’s Intelligence (PI), an“Alert” winner of Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention. PI intends to automate the collection of relevant human rights and humanitarian information from hard to access areas and verify it using crowd-sourcing and “dumb” mobile phones. Once developed, PI will address many of the shortcomings of current documentation initiatives using crowd-sourcing: lack of relevant and quality information, no or limited assessment of the reliability of the sources and the credibility of the collected information, reliance on the Internet, lack of feedback loops and limited empowerment of those reporting information. To solve these problems, PI will makes use of low cost GSM technology (e.g. SMS, USSD and voice) to establish a conversation with victims and witnesses of an incident to collect and guarantee relevant and quality information.

At PI we are particularity excited at the news that HIF accepted our first small grant application, as this means that we can now launch the first phase of our three years long project to develop PI’s technology. While we were waiting for a first successful grant application we did not remain inactive and successfully set up an advisory board composed of some eminent personalities who are active in the humanitarian, human rights and technology field. We also brought online PI’s first website and are in the process of signing a partnership agreement with another NGO in the Netherlands. More about the latter in a subsequent blog when the agreement has been formalized.

Thanks to HIF we can now start working at the first phase of the development of PI’s technology whose objective is to identify PI’s functional requirements in close collaboration with a series of national and international humanitarian and human rights NGOs. Practically, this means that in the coming weeks we will resume the contacts we already initiated with the Liberia Peacebuilding Office, Amnesty International USA, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of the Red Cross and UN OCHA, and approach a few others to set up a first round of meetings. We shall subsequently invite those interested to attend development workshops where together we shall write a series of user stories that will form the backbone of PI’s functional requirement analysis. Wish us success in our endeavours!

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