GBI Portal

Today, the project I’ve been working on, the Global Broadband and Innovations Program (GBI) announced the launch of the new GBI Portal, a multimedia resource portal and social network for development professionals interested in incorporating ICTs into their work.
The portal brings together news, commentary, and updates from the field on cutting edge technologies and their applications to social and economic development. It also incorporates an extensive (and growing) library of documents and project descriptions related to ICT4D, connectivity and innovations in development.
Created by EGAT/I&E, the portal provides sector specific information and resources for those working in:

  • Agriculture,
  • Democracy and Governance,
  • Economic Growth,
  • Education,
  • Environment,
  • Health,
  • Humanitarian Assistance, as well as
  • Cross Cutting Programs.

The Portal also provides targeted information about connectivity, mobile and innovations in development.

In addition to providing a wealth of resources, the portal also serves as a social network for development professionals interested in ICT4D. Membership to the portal is free, and gives people a place to meet, network, share ideas and questions, and form groups and participate in forums.

Getting Excited About Maps

There’s been a lot of buzz about using maps in advocacy, and its been something I’ve been meaning to explore further. I knew about the use of maps to see that damage done in Darfur (you can track as village go missing, and as communities are destroyed in Zimbabwe). And as neat as these were, they didn’t really do anything more than show me what I had just read before I click on “see map.”

But today I came across a completely engaging use of maps.

Buried somewhere in the Oceana website (it really should be easier to find) there is a fun tool for getting people involved in increasing awareness of mercury in seafood. If you visit Oceana’s Green List, you are asked to enter in your zip code. The site will then show you a map of your area with all the local grocery stores marked with either red or green map pins. The green pins indicate the store posts warning about mercury levels in seafood. The red ones indicate stores that have yet to post these warnings. They are on the so called Red List.

If you click on one of these pins, you get the sotre’s name, logo and address and a link that says “Help us get to your store to hang signs.” and “Sign up to speak with your store manager.”

When you click on the link, you fill out a quick form (name, email address) and then you are given a link to a printable comment card that you can drop into the stores comment box.

Personally, I found this very fun and engaging. I would have never thought about lobbying my grocery store on this issue, but now I can ‘t wait to drop this thing off!

(This post was originally posted on my blog at NetCentric Campaigns.)

Student Pugwash USA’s Guide to the Elections

From the Peace and Security initiative:

“From Electrons to Elections” policy guide is a non-partisan resource designed to educate young voters on science, technology, and health issues and provide them with the platforms of the leading political candidates on these subjects. It engages students on the issues through interactive technologies including blogging, YouTube videos, and polls. The guide explores a wide range of issues including peace and security, energy and environment, health, and emerging technology. Click here to view the guide.