People’s Intelligence: Early Achievements and Next Steps

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The news is out, USAID awarded a seed grant to PI among other winners of the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention co-sponsored by Humanity United.


A lot happened since we applied for this USAID seed grant earlier this year, including being awarded a first small grant by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund which allowed us to make some headway in presenting PI to a series of prospective human rights and humanitarian stakeholders, running requirements elicitation workshops and forging partnerships including with the academic world. So far we achieved all of the following:


  • Presentation of PI to the International Office for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), among other organizations;
  • Partnerships with the Liberia Peacebuilding Office, Amnesty International (AI) and Free Press Unlimited (FPU) to run elicitation workshops and pilots in countries of interest once a first prototype has been developed in a subsequent phase;
  • Partnerships with The Delft University of Technology and the Leiden University Peace Informatics Lab to provide coaching, peer review of project results as well as supervision of research on issues related to the PI project;
  • Requirements elicitation workshops in Geneva with IOM, UNHCR and ICRC, as well as in Delft with Free Press Unlimited and the Delft University of Technology. We just finished drafting the results of our first two workshops which we shared with all stakeholders for comment and feedback;
  • Presentation of PI at a series of conferences, most recently the CartONG 2014 in Chambery and the Mobile UnConference in The Hague.


In terms of next steps, we are looking forward to holding another two workshops; one with Amnesty International in London and another with the Liberia Peacebuilding Office in Monrovia as soon as the Ebola crisis subsides.


Thanks to the USAID small grant we will work at bringing the PI project a few steps further. Independently from when we manage to run the two additional workshops, the PI technical team will start working at the definition of the technical requirements for a series of core features as well as a first architecture necessary to start building a first prototype in the course of next year. During the next phase we will further look at how to build synergies between PI and other technological initiatives.


In terms of methodology, we will follow the Agile Software Development methodology in order to quickly develop a series of key features, gain feedback and adapt. If all goes according to plan, we hope that by the end of 2015 we’ll have developed some software to showcase. As with the functional requirements analysis results, we shall share the results of our enquiries with the wider human rights and humanitarian community.


Wish us success.