Kenya is an exciting innovation hub spurring creative projects and pursuing steady progress. How long can this sustain and how will the upcoming elections fare, given the violence of the not-so-distant past?
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During the 2007 Virginia Tech campus shooting, students and witnesses desperately tried to send text messages to 911. Local dispatchers never received them because their systems only take voice calls. As technology rapidly changes, what lessons can be learned from tragic situations like the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, and how can they be applied to prevent such devastating consequences?
Modern warfare is not just violence, but also peacebuilding initiatives. One of the problems with releasing 90,000+ documents, as WikiLeaks did, and not reporting on the contents of those documents, as the media didn’t, is that the story of the war becomes skewed. Meaning that anyone trying to make sense of a war that has raged for nine years continues to be lost in its fog.
The outpouring of support in response to the devastating earthquake has been astounding, with over $58 million being raised by Hollywood alone through the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon organized by George Clooney. The European Union’s 27 nations are contributing $575 million. U.S. charities have raised $470 million for disaster. The U.S. is providing the largest slice of a global response that totals more than $1 billion in government pledges. Even with the Haitian government allegedly getting only 1 cent of every US aid dollar, it’s still $100 million dollars. Haiti is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, consistently ranking in the top 10 along with the likes of Iran and Turkmenistan. Even some charities, such as Yele (formerly Wyclef Jean Foundation) on the ground have been accused of mishandling records.
Do countries need a 911-type emergency response system? The situation in Haiti proves that this is not only necessary, but that it needs to be open for anyone to enter and access the data.
The response to the earthquake in Haiti had shown a radical shift in relief efforts. Rather than organizations with similar interests operating against one another with siloed information, we’ve seen collaboration on an impressive scale. The quiet premise is that openness will save peoples lives.