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Humanitarian Tracker is 2017 Classy Awards Finalist

When the Syria conflict erupted in 2011, there was little information available on the situation. A few news reports surfaced indicating citizen targeting and human rights violations. But, how can citizens share with the world what is happening to and around them? This called for an open and democratic platform that can be scaled, customized where the data is free and available to use, validated and credible without risking the lives of citizen reporters.

 

Syria Tracker provides an open technology platform and forum for crowdsourcing events on the ground in Syria and surrounding region since 2011. To date, we've received over 160K reports from the ground (6% published), mined 650K news articles and 680M social media posts.The platform and methods were adopted globally and include: tracking epidemics (Ebola, Flu, Zika), human rights violations (SE Asia), crime, violence & corruption, relief and development. Program goals include: 1) ensure timely response to crises & events 2) create a sustainable and efficient model for users, 3) coordinate relief efforts through information sharing and needs assessment to help agencies understand what is most needed and leverage resources, and 4) allow victims to report events in real time.

Syria Tracker is the first platform to combine crowdsourced reports with data mining and machine learning and apply it to conflict, giving a wholistic view of the situation on the ground. Eyewitness and other reports crowdsourced over the past 6 years, have been used by citizens on the ground in Syria, mainstream media and incorporated into official UN, USAID and State Department reports. Our approach of an open, agnostic platform that is scalable to address global issues is coupled with a global community of experts and volunteers that can provide a comprehensive real-time picture. In addition to data mining and machine learning, , our platform is able to handle a large volume of complex data and all that combined is unmatched by any other platform in the unclassified space.

Equipped with a cell phone and Internet, people now have a voice, regardless of their gender, religion, location and ethnicity. Humanitarian Tracker offers a solution that helps form the complete picture on the ground. For example, events we crowdsourced in Syria are being used by human rights & development organizations, governments and ordinary people. We believe that our work and experience can be applied to end poverty, protect the the planet, and achieve the sustainable development goals.

Since April 2011, Syria Tracker helped track and document human rights violations, rape, relief needs, disease epidemics (first report on human polio re-emergence, tuberculosis), and refugee issues. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), US Agency for International Development (USAID), and US Department of State – which all have high standards of reporting– found the data produced by Syria Tracker acceptable and incorporated it into their official reports.

The Classy Awards exist to put a spotlight on the most remarkable changemakers of our generation. The Winners & Finalists recognized are addressing the incredibly complex and equally severe problems we face today. Their efforts span global poverty and hunger, disease, education, climate change, disaster response and preparedness, and health care accessibility