What’s New in DemTools 2.0?

NDI is launching a new and improved version of DemTools, a technology toolkit for civil society and government, on December 9 in Washington, D.C. We’ve put a lot of sweat, tears, and code (no blood so far) into this adventure and are ready to share it with the world. DemTools 2.0 upgrades and expands our existing set of tools, which was deployed by 82 organizations around the world in the last year.

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Choose Your Adventure: Hackathon Helps Build Smart Games for Democratic Development

Developers at AWS hackathon burn the midnight oil to create prototype games to teach democratic lessons.

Over 18 grueling hours, more than 200 developers at the ReInvent Conference in Las Vegas hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) worked to solve tech challenges submitted by four non-profit organizations: UNICEF, NPR’s Marketplace, Donors Choose and NDI. NDI’s challenge to “design a framework for building story-driven text-based games that convey lessons in an engaging ‘choose your own adventure’ format,” drew more participants than any other project.

Throughout the hackathon -- an event in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming -- five teams worked to deliver functional prototypes of a game system. When it was all over, “Team 29” was declared the winner. The winning team and several other participants committed to bring the demo version to a fully-functional product in the coming months, which NDI will be able to use to enhance its programs.

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Job Opportunity: Chief Information Officer

Sudanese citizens gather around NDI-distributed radios in the village of Leer to listen to the Let’s Talk program. NDI distributed thousands of wind-up and solar-powered blue radios in Sudan as part of a two-year program that brought dialogue about national issues to isolated communities.

NDI provides technology services to our democracy programs and political partners around the world, and support to our employees and field offices in 60 countries. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) provides leadership, directs technology strategy and is responsible for overall management of all technology support and programs. The CIO also is responsible for establishing strategic partnerships, identifying opportunities to secure program funding and leading the institute’s information security efforts. NDI is a global organization running production business systems and regularly conducting program activities abroad during non-US business hours, thus this job requires the team leader to be accessible at any time as needed (including evenings and weekends).

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Nigerian Innovations in Technology for Democracy

In March, TMG observers across Nigeria tested systems that were used on election day to independently verify election results. Using coded text messages, the observers sent massive amounts of data to a national information center for analysis. Credit: TMG-Nigeria

Nigerians went to the polls last month to choose their next president. The outcome was a largely peaceful transition of power between the ruling and opposition parties, and technology played a key role.

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The Floor is Yours: Bosnia's New Online Citizen Engagement Platform

NDItech, NDI’s Technology Programs team, sat down via Google Hangouts with NDI’s Asja Kratovic, resident program officer in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), to discuss the recently released Imate Rijec website. The site brings together the voices of politicians and citizens on some of Bosnia’s most pressing social and political issues.

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A Renewed Vision: DemTools 2.0

DemTools are a set of open-source solutions developed by NDI’s Technology for Democracy team (NDItech) to address some of democracy’s most common problems. The tools, which were released in August to NDI partners, the development community and general public, focus on scalability – providing advanced technologies to make their work more effective, while reducing maintenance and sustainability burdens. NDI recently received a renewed National Endowment for Democracy grant for the continued development and expansion of DemTools. In deciding where and how to allocate these funds, we reviewed current features and updated our roadmap for product development and version release timelines. We determined that better support, enhanced multilingual capacity and increased usability were priorities across all of the tools.

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