Published on July 1, 2014 um 11:15

Summary of your idea

VOZ is designed to allow individuals and organisations to quickly and easily post live reports of human rights and environmental abuses occurring in their local area using a smartphone or a PC. These posts are uploaded to a website, which then shows the report and its location on a map as it is happening. VOZ will become a database of geographically located reports and news stories submitted by grassroots and social movements around the globe. With the aim of helping movements connect and share experiences and knowledge, and providing up to the minute and locally produced information for national and international NGOs.

Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development

The World Bank Study 'Voices of the Poor' concluded that many people desired access to knowledge rather than charity to enable them to move out of poverty. VOZ supports this aim by: Firstly, all reports are posted by people who are right there at the scene using their PC or smartphone, providing first hand local information. Secondly, it brings together dispersed populations to work together on similar problems, such as a multinational mining companies polluting water supplies in many different countries. Thirdly, it enables people to quickly report on and review local issues, enabling greater community response to problems. Fourthly, the information is also available internationally, meaning that international aid agencies and news agencies can more easily tap into stories on the ground. Finally, this app will offer users a level of anonymity not possible with Facebook or even Twitter. Allowing people to protect their identity may help to protect campaigners.

Plans for implementation and sustainability

Scalability has been worked into this project from the outset. While research has shown that VOZ is important for supporting SMOs in their local work, there is also a desire to connect SMOs on a global level. It is for this reason that VOZ included an inviting option, allowing SMOs to invite other like minded movements to use the service, helping to snowball a global membership to the service. VOZ has been designed to allow the quickest and easiest scaling, without additional costs to SMOs and NGOs. It is important to note that spontaneous uptake is unlikely to happen without additional seeds being sown, hence the following scaling a replication activities are planned for the coming months. Unlike other PGIS projects VOZ is always online, always accessible, and can be scaled to meet the needs of most SMOs without the need of additional time or money. Provided an SMO has access to the internet and is aware of VOZ they are able to access the service and create maps and report on human rights and environmental abuses easily and for free. The only limit to scaling is the cost of running our secure Icelandic based servers. As more photos and videos are uploaded and more bandwidth is required these servers will become increasingly expensive, which is one of the fundamental reasons for seeking funding. VOZ should always be a free service to those who need to use it, both for posting data and for viewing data.

Your profile

I am a 29 year old male who has recently completed an MSc in International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam during which time I focused on examining the relationships between knowledge, social media, political engagement and development, as well as examining the educational paradigms of the Global North and how they create knowledge structures that restrict the development opportunities of the South. This is work I will continue as I begin my PhD at the University of Westminster. I will also continue to work managing VOZ, with the PhD research at the VOZ project complementing each other. My background is in teaching, facilitating creative education and knowledge management, and I have been fortunate enough to work in a wide range of sectors and environments all of which have enabled me to enhance my practice. Much of my work revolves around developing and facilitating creative educational and knowledge sharing programs dealing with a range of topics including social equality, human rights, conflict resolution, global education and personal reflection.

Stage of Idea

start-up stage

Your idea has a positive impact on

peace-building , environment, education, food security, poverty reduction, empowerment of women, youth, other: Human Rights

Screen shot montage

Trials in Colombia

Screen shot of work in progress building the web application

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