A Smattering of Resources

One of the things about going to tech conferences, but not being a techie, is that many of the resources, tools and websites people talk about are new to me. And in a world that produces so much data and new tech innovation, it can be hard to keep up with what’s going on. The following, therefore, is a very partial list of resources and tools that I thought some of Indigo’s grantees, potential grantees and partners might find useful. It’s not a comprehensive list, nor are many of the things on here in their first flush of youth, but if you’re comparatively new to the world of using tech for social change, you might find something you want to learn more about:

  1. Eldis: Run by the Institute of Development Studies in the UK, Eldis aims to make available development research and reports across a whole range of fields. Their ICTs for Development page has almost 1,000 documents, reports and case studies and unlike much academic research, all the documents here are free and open to all.
  2. Tactical Tech: This should be the first stop for any NGO thinking about implementing a mobile-driven project. Aimed primarily at organisations and individuals working on human rights, Tactical Tech’s tools provide practical advice on security issues, as well as improving your campaigns through better use of data, visualisations and mapping.
  3. Akoma Ntoso: Already used by the EU and others, Akoma Ntoso allows users to create machine-readable parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents. It’s primarily a tool aimed at governments, but if you’re interested in opening up government and creating a culture of parliamentary transparency, knowing about this could be a big help.
  4. Alaveteli: Developed by Indigo grantee, mySociety, Alaveteli is a piece of software that allows citizens to request information and for the responses to be publicly visible. With many countries now having Right to Information or Freedom of Information laws, this software makes it easier than ever before to hold public bodies publicly to account.
  5. Gapminder: In a world increasingly concerned with evidence-based interventions, Gapminder provides data and visualisations that allow anyone to track trends over time in everything from global population growth to greenhouse gas emissions. Hans Rosling – the brains behind the site – explains more in this highly watchable talk on statistics:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVimVzgtD6w 

There are plenty of other resources and tools I could have added, but these are just five that I’ve been looking at recently. For more suggestions, I’d recommend taking a look at the Spider Center’s ICT4D Resources Page or Tony Roberts’ list of the best ICT4D blogs.