Updated on June 4, 2024


Created on June 14, 2017


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
Content Partners


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


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Distributors / Implementing Organizations


Manufacturing/Building Method

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

Intellectural Property Type

Select Type

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.

Distributions to Date Status

As of 2017, Ushahidi had been deployed over 120,000 times in more than 160 countries.

Mobile service required

For mobile phone users a minimum 2G services is required. The latest app version also integrates offline data collection to the platform, among other new features.

Device(s) required

Mobile phone, tablet, or computer

Additional features required


Permanent network connectivity required

No. 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 when connection is available again.

Type of applications for data collection

SMS, smartphone app, tablet app and web-based applications

Level of mobile data coverage needed

Minimum 2G connection for users to transmit data to the servers

Type of data collected

Data are stored in Ushahidi platform or web servers configured by user. Data can be exported in several formats, including pdf and Excel spreadsheets.

Usage rate (%)


Literacy support


Languages available

Language available include: Arabic, Chinese, French, German. Haitian (Haitian Creole), Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, among others. Complete list here.

Operating system and version

The installation procedure will vary depending on available setup, but the requirements in all cases are: – Web server supporting PHP: apache2, nginx or a hosting provider – PHP invokable from command line – The following PHP modules installed: curl, json, mcrypt, mysqli, pdo, pdo_mysql, imap and gd – A MySQL database server

Power Requirements

Occasional power supply for end users, uninterrupted power supply for system administrators.

Application of mobile data collection

Main focuses include election Monitoring, Crisis Response and Advocacy & Human Rights, but can be adapted for use in M&E, surveys for project management, household surveys for health, Ag, financial inclusion, water, education, academic research survey, impact evaluation, market research, other

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.

Product Schematics

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

“Crowdsourcing Solutions to Empower Communities.” n.d. Ushahidi. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.ushahidi.com/

“The Ushahidi v3.X Translation Project on Transifex.” n.d. Transifex.Com. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://explore.transifex.com/ushahidi/ushahidi-v3/

Macdonell, Cameron. 2015. “Ushahidi.” ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society 45: 38–38. https://github.com/ushahidi

InSTEDD. n.d. “InSTEDD.” Instedd.Org. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://instedd.org/

Waidyanatha, Nuwan, and Devin Balkind. n.d. “Sahana Foundation.” Sahana Foundation. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://sahanafoundation.org/

“U-Report Uganda.” n.d. Ureport.In. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://ureport.ug/

“Free and Easy-to-Use Mobile Data-Gathering Platform.” n.d. Epicollect.Net. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://five.epicollect.net/

“Goal 9.” n.d. Sdgs.Un.Org. Accessed May 29, 2024. https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal9

Shapshak, Toby. 2017. “Kenyan Tech Star Ushahidi Releases IOS, Android Apps.” Forbes. March 21, 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tobyshapshak/2017/03/21/kenyan-tech-star-ushahidi-releases-ios-android-apps/?sh=3b18ffdb360e 

“Ushahidi.” n.d. Ushahidi. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.ushahidi.com/pricing/

“Contact Us.” n.d. Ushahidi. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.ushahidi.com/contact/ 

“Inform Decisions & Empower Communities.” n.d. Ushahidi. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.ushahidi.com/features/

“Support.” n.d. Ushahidi. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.ushahidi.com/support/

“Ushahidi.” n.d. Ushahidi. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.ushahidi.com/about/

ushahidi. n.d. “Releases · Ushahidi/Platform-Release.” GitHub. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://github.com/ushahidi/platform-release/releases

“Install.” n.d. Ushahidi. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.ushahidi.com/support/install-ushahidi/

“Ushahidi.” n.d. Ushahidi. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.ushahidi.com/plans/

“Ushahidi.” n.d. Ushahidi. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.ushahidi.com/case-studies/world-vision-speed-evidence/

“Ushahidi.” n.d. Ushahidi. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.ushahidi.com/case-studies/remembering-the-ones-we-lost/

“Ushahidi.” n.d. Ushahidi. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.ushahidi.com/case-studies/crisis-preparedness-platform/

“Ushahidi.” n.d. Ushahidi. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.ushahidi.com/support/post-types/#building-configuring-and-sharing-a-survey 

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.

Evaluation methods

Tufts University states that their custom solution allows for tailored data visualizations, revealing hidden trends in victims’s age, gender, and location of death. These tools also allow for different user permissions, such as administration users, granting secure access to manage incoming reports.

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