05 March 2010

Social Networks for Development

I’ve been chatting to Sam Lampert and a colleague about Beyond Planning and what the ultimate social network for development would look like.

I think the big idea is already out there. It is Ushahidi, which aggregates and maps information submitted online or by SMS during elections and crises. But why stop at crises? Why not just have a system which is always on and which can allow citizen reporting on public services?

How about a massive global wikipedia for aid spending, government spending, and politics, with Facebook Connect so contributor’s reputations are at stake, and maps, and links to MP profiles, and voting buttons on public projects, and voting buttons on public projects linked to SMS, which are advertised on the radio (“how is your local school doing? text your marks out of 10 along with your district name to 1234”), and detailed user reviews of projects, and league tables, and links to public data on project spending. Aid and Government projects all in the same place. Aid transparency, government transparency, political transparency, all in the same place.

Geeks of the world – any takers?

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