To what extent can innovative technologies for advocacy and collective action, such as Ushahidi and OpenStreetMap, support poor and marginalised communities to improve their lives and livelihoods? This report examines initiatives which use tools such as open source mapping to create new collectively generated and shared information resources (information commons). One of the case studies cited is Map Kibera, a community-information project in Kibera, Nairobi, perhaps the largest informal settlement in Africa. The report highlights both the opportunities and the challenges of sustaining and governing a new information commons and the exchange of open source values and practices to the development world. The findings of the Map Kibera case study indicate the need to re-examine how open source values and practices may be relevant for marginalised communities. This includes rethinking the character of citizen contributors as volunteers, especially those who participate in the effort on an ongoing basis, and devising a more systematic approach for engaging the wider community to define how these resources can be used for their benefit.
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