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Global Campaign against IEDs: Technology Enablers

While the technology described here is not a requirement for success, it is a very important component of the Global Campaign agianst IEDs. We envision two technology-based enablers as part of our overall approach: (1) The IED Reporting and Alerting System and (2) The IED Incident Tracker. Both make their primary contribution to the fact-based information campaign with secondary contributions to the rule of law  and CAPS-based solutions elements as well as measuring the success of our approach. Each enabler is described below after the underlying foundation for these technology efforts is introduced.

We plan extensive use of mobile technologies using a foundation based on the open source Ushahidi platform [ www.ushahidi.com ] that provides crowd-sourced information collection, visualization, and interactive mapping capabilities. The requirements for our two enablers require several modifications to Ushahidi. Our objectives in this regard are two-fold. First, modifications are created as open source plug-ins and made available to the larger Ushahidi community. Second we will coordinate with the Ushahidi team to ensure our modifications meet the strategic and tactical visions of the project.

The IED Reporting and Alerting System using a combination of Internet and mobile phone technologies has two primary goals. The first is to produce verified (through carefully defined due diligence) alerts of IED deployments with the objective of reducing casualties and damage. The second is a method for the public to contribute IED-related information. A pictorial representation of this system is shown in below. This system has the unique potential to actively engage local populations by providing a communications venue that includes citizens, opposition, government and police which could be used to communicate about a variety of community-based issues engendering positive social capital (see figure below—dashed purple line).

IRAS

The goal of the IED Incident Tracker is to establish an independent, objective, and trusted global repository of verified IED incidents. The objectives are (1) a map-based view of these incidents available to local citizens as part of the fact based information campaign and (2) an underlying database of sufficient quality and structure to serve analysts tracking the success of our efforts. The data from the system will be made available to all interested parties in downloadable formats appropriate for further analysis to facilitate a truly accurate count of global IED incidents.

A prototype of the IED Incident Tracker based on the Ushahidi platform may be viewed here