Open Source

Free Tools for Internet Freedom

Free Tools for Internet Freedom

By Madeleine Nicoloff | November 22, 2021

In today’s world, the exercise of democracy and human rights relies on access to secure, uncensored participation in the digital space. As society continues to move into the digital realm, the fight to defend human rights and civic space is expanding into this new territory: technology and the internet hold the potential to democratize access to information and to opportunity, but at the same time carry the danger of being used as an instrument to further exacerbate unequal power dynamics. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this tension strikingly clear.

NDI, Software Development, and the Long Haul

NDI, Software Development, and the Long Haul

By Chris Doten | November 23, 2021

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.

How Smart Automation Can Be Used In International Development

How Smart Automation Can Be Used In International Development

By Jesper Frant | November 23, 2021

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.

Taking Advantage of Open Source Projects

Taking Advantage of Open Source Projects

By Jason Baumgartner | November 23, 2021

There are a lot of benefits in using open source software when starting your next project.  Before diving into these amazing benefits, let’s first examine what the term “open source” means.  Quite simply, open source is software code that is open for inspection and modification and allows anyone to make contributions to its development.  An example of a well known open source project is PostgreSQL -- a relational database system that is widely used in many projects.  Anyone with some programming experience can make contributions to this and other open source projects.

Announcing the Legislative Openness Data Explorer

Announcing the Legislative Openness Data Explorer

By Sophia Sokolowski | November 22, 2021

Editor’s Note: Cross posted from OpeningParliament.org by author Greg Brown. Brown is a Program Officer at the National Democratic Institute, where he helps manage many of the Institute's programs on parliamentary openness and innovation, good governance, and civic technology, including OpeningParliament.org and the Open Government Partnership's Legislative Openness Working Group. Prior to joining NDI, Greg was an International Policy Fellow at the Sunlight Foundation.

Digital Development: From Principle to Practice

Digital Development: From Principle to Practice

By Jared Ford | November 22, 2021

On Feb 29, NDItech attended the launch event of the newly published report, From Principle to Practice: Implementing the Principles for Digital Development. More than 150 organizations participated in an action-packed day of engaging keynotes, lightning talks, learning lunches, and breakout sessions. The event and report focuses on the Principles for Digital Development, a set of best practice guidelines for development programs that utilize technology to increase impact and social change. Below is a Storify of key moments and take-aways.

Principles for Digital Development - What's Next?

Principles for Digital Development - What's Next?

By Jared Ford | November 23, 2021

Last week, NDItech participated in another Working Group meeting for the Principles for Digital Development. Starting in early 2014, the Working Group has convened over 10 times to hold detailed discussions about the Principles for Digital Development, emergent best practice in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to support development projects, programs, and practice.

Election Monitoring with Enketo

Election Monitoring with Enketo

By NDI Tech | November 22, 2021

NDI has been using Enketo to help collect data overseas, as part of tablet-based observation efforts. Enketo is a great example of an extremely useful, open-source tool, supported by a great community of users and developers. We asked the experts at Enketo to talk to our readers about how their tool works and how their tool supports NGOs working in some of the most remote locations in the world.

Enketo is a versatile tool that can be used by a diverse set of organizations with data collection needs. One advantage of Enketo is that it can be used on mobile phones, tablets, or computers and only requires a modern browser. No specific operating system is required. No installation is required; one only needs a link to the form to begin collecting data. Entering data directly into a form on a device minimizes transcription errors in data collection. When devices are connected to the internet, data is gathered in real time allowing for rapid data analysis. However, Enketo can also work as an offline tool in places where internet connections may be spotty or nonexistent. Data can be uploaded when an internet connection becomes available. For situations where security is a concern, Enketo also has the option to be used as a paper survey. Using a paper copy of the survey during data collection enables faster data entry at a later time.

The National Democratic Institute presents a powerful example of how Enketo can be used to benefit communities in a variety of settings.