NDI, Software Development, and the Long Haul

NDI, Software Development, and the Long Haul

How Smart Automation Can Be Used In International Development

How Smart Automation Can Be Used In International Development

We're Hiring! Product Management, Internship, Systems Engineers...

We're Hiring! Product Management, Internship, Systems Engineers...

TechCivica: Empowering Citizens through Tech Innovation

TechCivica: Empowering Citizens through Tech Innovation

Tangerang: OpenGov & Technology

Tangerang: OpenGov & Technology

Tale of Three (Indonesian) Cities: OpenGov & Technology

Tale of Three (Indonesian) Cities: OpenGov & Technology

Liveblogging Cote d'Ivoire Parliamentary

Liveblogging Cote d'Ivoire Parliamentary

Hello, World!

Hello, World!

Social Security - Using Digital Media in Zambia

Social Security - Using Digital Media in Zambia

Photos from #ZambiaDecides

Photos from #ZambiaDecides

Projects

Blog

By Chris Doten | August 29, 2017
Developing prototype tools for citizen security at TechCivica Mexico
We’ve got a new job opening on the team - NDI’s first-ever product manager. NDI needs someone committed to the vision of adapting or creating tools that can scale to serve thousands of organizations that make up critical pillars of democratic society - local governments, elected officials, civil society groups, and political parties. While the product manager will be the primary leader of our DemTools initiative, they will also work on new ideas for scaleable solutions to common...
By Sarah Moulton | October 10, 2017
data clerks in front of computers
I'll be sending along updates throughout the day from the ECC datacenter as Liberians go to the polls today to vote in the Presidential and House of Representatives elections. Most recent updates are on top. Note: this blog post does not contain any official or unofficial information regarding the results of the observation. This will be released only by the ECC.  3:30 AM (Wednesday) Well, we're calling it a wrap. Until 6am that is, when the quest of gathering missing and/or...
By Sarah Moulton | September 26, 2017
Dear Diary
I first became acquainted with the concept of weeknotes after a meeting with Dan Barrett of the UK Parliament's Digital Service when he passed through DC this summer. We followed him on Twitter (and you can too!) and I noticed he linked to a weekly summary of his workweek published on Medium, with an intent to improve the transparency of what he and his team do on a day to day basis (also, there are some good gifs). Since I sometimes get the question: “What do you do anyway?” I...
By Ben Lynch | September 13, 2017
Togo
Last week saw an internet shutdown across Togo in response to widespread protests. In addition to blocking mobile internet, the government also blocked SMS messaging and mobile payments. The internet was eventually restored after 6 days. Internet shutdowns are becoming common, with 62 shutdowns having already occurred this year. Internet shutdowns not only restrict communication but often have significant economic costs as many companies are hampered in their ability to...
By Ben Lynch | September 6, 2017
AI training
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has great potential to bring about social good, but recently experts have been discussing its potential dangers. Two weeks ago, 116 tech experts including Elon Musk called for a UN ban on using AI in any type of weapon. This led to talk about how AI has the potential to start World War III, with Elon Musk pointing out that a computer given too much control over weapons could start the war itself. And last Friday, Vladimir Putin made a comment in a talk that, “...
By Sarah Moulton | August 29, 2017
TechCivica plenary
Background: Since 2016, NDItech has been jointly implementing the “TechCivica” initiative together with our Latin America team. Funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, the program seeks to bring together representatives of civil society, government, media, academia, and the private sector to discuss common challenges with regard to citizen security, transparency and accountability, and the various ways that technology can utilized to develop solutions. NDI held its first...
By Ben Lynch | August 29, 2017
CiviCRM
NDItech is currently searching for vendors to help us with CiviCRM-related development and support over the next 12 months. The process is open to any organization, so please feel free to share this with anyone that might be interested and help us spread the word.   The vendor would help us maintain and improve Civi, our most popular DemTool, which is based on CiviCRM. Among other things, we are looking for vendors who have familiarity working with CiviCRM as well as...
By Chris Doten | August 24, 2017
Hard at work at a computer in Zambia
I was recently discussing with a colleague what software development means to a non-profit like NDI. My thinking on this has evolved quite a bit over the seven (!?) years I’ve been working in international development, drawing on our team’s successes - and failures. At NDI we’re really lucky to have a small software development team in-house, which is a rarity among our peers. Since it’s a small team, we necessarily have a limited set of skills. We're really good at...
By Ben Lynch | August 22, 2017
Cloudflare
As tech companies are increasingly being held responsible for hate speech on their platforms, they are also facing opposing concerns about their role in deciding the bounds of free speech. This issue came to the front last week when the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer was repeatedly dropped by numerous DNS and hosting services that refused to accept it as a customer, often citing their terms of service. Cloudflare, a service that protects websites from attacks, also dropped the Daily Stormer...
By Ben Lynch | August 15, 2017
Protest
Recently, there has been a series of crackdowns on VPNs around the world. Apple made headlines when it agreed to remove a number of VPNs from its App Store in China, defending the move by saying it must abide by the laws in each country in which it operates. Previously, Chinese police have also tracked down creators of VPNs, confronting them at home and demanding they take down their VPNs. Rather than putting an outright ban on VPNs, China is rolling out restrictions...
By Ben Lynch | August 7, 2017
Bitcoin Split
There was big news in the blockchain field last week as Bitcoin experienced a “hard fork” and split into two currencies. More people using Bitcoin has led to slower transaction processing times, leading many to suggest that Bitcoin blocks should be expanded so that they process more transactions at once. A large group of users agreed to a multi-part proposal slated to take effect later this month to help solve the issue, but a smaller minority backed a proposal to increase...
By Jesper Frant | August 7, 2017
cat in giant cat-foot slippers
Artificial Intelligence is one of those buzzwords in tech that everyone’s heard, but few people actually understand how it can be used in practice. If you’re to believe Hollywood or Stephen Hawking, AI either means androids that are indistinguishable from humans (except for the inability to use conjunctions) or super-intelligent computers that could spell the end of the human race. After attending a Tech Salon on how AI can be used in international development, I can say with...