Updated on June 22, 2020


Created on June 14, 2017


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Ushahidi is an open-source platform that allows information collection through multiple sources such as SMS, email, RSS feeds, web apps and Twitter.

Developed By Unknown
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Product Description

Ushahidi is an open-source platform that allows information collection through multiple sources such as SMS, email, RSS feeds, web apps and Twitter. The collected data can be used to build maps and charts, generate reports that can include time lines or workflows and send automatic alerts. An Android and iOS app is also available allowing to integrate offline data collection to the platform. Platform usage suggested from system developers includes: Election Monitoring, Crisis Response, and Advocacy & Human Rights.

Market Suggested Retail Price


Distributors / Implementing Organizations


Manufacturing/Building Method

Ushahidi is a platform developed in various languages like PHP, JavaScript, Python, Java and Shell.

Intellectural Property Type

Open Source

User Provision Model

Ushahidi can be obtained through a direct download. The platform can be used for free (with restrictions) or with different contract plans. Inquiries can be submitted through the contact form on the Ushahidi website.

Design Specifications

The release bundles are pre-built compressed files. It does not required further building or downloading. These file bundles are available from the platform-release repository in Github. Installation instructions assume that users know how to create a database in a MySQL server and obtain user credentials with access to such database. The instructions and example commands are written specifically for Debian Linux or a derivative of it (Ubuntu, Mint, etc). It might be required to make adjustments if the user is installing on a different Linux, or a different OS. Ushahidi provides a complete step-by-step guide on how to use the Ushahidi Platform. It is possible to install the platform in different web servers. An Internet connection is required to access content on Ushahidi platform. The latest version of Ushahidi app does not require the user to have a permanent connection: data can be locally collected and stored for upload it when connection is available again. Users with sms, twitter, RSS feeds, email or web app need basic 2G connection to send data to platform. Transifex is used to translate to several languages the platform.

Technical Support

Ushahidi manages a comprehensive support section. Ushahidi staff can also be contacted through their website.

Replacement Components




Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters


Vetted Performance Status

World Vision UK used Ushahidi to aggregate contextual evidence from both response teams and social media in real-time, to receive data from SMS, social media, and websites, for users to filter and analyse reports and data available. With support from the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University, in South Sudan a list of over 4000 victims has been gathered, using Ushahidi platform in which civilians send information about the subject. The Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DMHA) used Ushahidi platform to aggregate and transparently map all the disaster management training events in the Asia-Pacific region that is open for anyone to use.



Complementary Technical Systems


Academic Research and References

Pánek, J., Marek, L., Pászto, V., Val?ch, J., 2017, The Crisis Map of the Czech Republic: the nationwide deployment of an Ushahidi application for disasters, Disaster Journal, Volume 41, Issue 4, October 2017, Pages 649-671

Mora, F., 2011, Innovating in the midst of crisis: A case study of Ushahidi

Banks, K., Hersman, E., 2009, FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi – a demo, International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD), Doha, 2009, pp. 484-484

Marsden, J., 2013, Stigmergic self-organization and the improvisation of Ushahidi,
Cognitive Systems Research, Volume 21, Pages 52-64, ISSN 1389-0417

Macdonell, C., 2015, Ushahidi: a crisis mapping system, SIGCAS Comput. Soc. 45, Pages 2-38

Land, M., Meier, P., Belinsky, M., Jacobi, E., 2012, #ICT4HR: Information and Communication Technologies for Human Rights, World Bank Institute, Nordic Trust Fund, Open Development Technology Alliance, and ICT4Gov

Hirata, E., Giannotti, M.A., Larocca, A. P. C., Quintanilha, J.A., 2018, Flooding and inundation collaborative mapping – use of the Crowdmap/Ushahidi platform in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Journal of Flood Risk Management, Volume 11, Issue S1, January 2018, Pages S98-S109

Compliance with regulations

It is required to comply with local regulations on data privacy. The platform includes field level privacy controls as part of the survey system.

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