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Filed under: Development Development 2.0 Social inclusion Social innovation

Map of Europe and CIS with Ukraine highlighted

We just launched a project to stimulate debate in the country about what needs to be changed in Ukraine to improve people’s lives. Using crowdsourcing, we want to define the theme of our next National Human Development Report.

Right now, we’re looking for professionals to develop and introduce a crowdsourcing platform for our human development report. (For details, see the tender advertisement and please share it with your networks – deadline: 8 August). The web and SMS friendly platform should: foster discussion and debate and collect responses, and also involve offline participatory tools.

We were inspired by some recent efforts by UNAIDS, that used crowdsourcing to develop their youth strategy on HIV and AIDS, and the World Bank’s use of a wiki to develop a youth a report on youth employment in Africa.

Despite advancement in a lot of countries, crowdsourcing approaches in Ukraine are not yet widely used to solve exigent issues. We believe that this is a unique opportunity for citizens to collaborate to make Ukraine a better place to live.

Why crowdsourcing?

  • We want to hear a variety of different perspectives from the country, including local communities and minority groups, and new technologies offer opportunities for people to express their ideas and opinions individually and collectively.
  • It could reveal hidden problems.
  • It supports our approach of getting people to contribute to their own well-being.
  • Crowdsourcing is becoming popular in development work, and we want to test out the wisdom of crowds theory, which implies that our collective wisdom can be more valuable than individual experts when it comes to addressing [socioeconomic] problems or making decisions.

Neat fact: Although being a somewhat new term, “crowdsourcing” has existed in our society in many forms. As an example from history, Napoleon implemented various crowdsourcing campaigns. In the 18th century he wanted to solve the problem of feeding his army after they left the safety of the French farms. He offered an award of 12,000 francs for the most innovative approach to solving the hunger problems experienced by his troops.

What is human development?

The idea of human development can be viewed as an image of people living happy lives, with the capacities and opportunities to pursue what they believe is important. Unlike the concept of economic growth, which sees the welfare of a society as a measure of a country’s resources and income, human development is more comprehensive. It looks at people, and their experiences. (See: UNDP reveals template for human sustainability index at Rio+20)

Human development involves choices, and a debate about what is most valued by people to improve their lives and be happier. (See: Happiness – can we measure it, and then what?)

Are you an expert? Please have a look at the application and share it with your contacts and networks.

What are your experiences with crowdsourcing for development?

Do you have any tips for us as we embark on our crowdsourcing initiative?