Juliana is a native of Kenya and a co-founder of Ushahidi. Born during the post-election violence in Kenya in 2008, Ushahidi is a web based reporting system that utilises crowd sourced data to formulate visual map information of a crisis on a real-time basis. Ushahidi is versatile in allowing users to input data through SMS, through video MMS on a smart phone, or through a computer – basically any connected digital device. In the Kenyan scenario it was used to map out incidents of violence and this information has played a crucial role in the continuing justice and reconciliation process in Kenya. Ushahidi then grew to be a generic open source incident reporting platform that has been successfully deployed in various situations such as the Haiti and Chile earthquakes, the Palestine conflict crisis, the heavy snow crisis in Washington, and the recent oil spillage crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. As a Program Director for Ushahidi Juliana manages projects and aids in the development, testing and deployment of the Ushahidi platform.
Juliana is an experienced public speaker and she also likes to talk about the vitality of technology in Africa. It was a tough choice, but Ushahidi is such a compelling story that I think that’s the topic she’ll address. I can’t wait to see Juliana again in November and to get an update on where Ushahidi is being deployed.