Creating Technology for Social Change

Update on Final Project | CivicMaps Toolkit



The CivicMaps Toolkit is taking shape into something very interesting. With a focus on grassroots, community groups and organizations, the CivicMaps Toolkit is currently being populated with case studies, open-source tools and platforms, interviews and other resources to assist those seeking to use maps to foster their social change goals. The idea is to create an online resource-central like, but focused on the use of maps for social change. In that sense, I have been assisting the team in doing interviews with folks that have used maps to tell the stories, but also on writing a couple of case studies on examples of how maps can change the perception of data, making it much more tangible and actionable.
In particular, I am working on the case of the Zimbabwe Peace Project or ZPP. The Zimbabwe Peace Project is a local, community-owned and run project that fights for the defense of human rights and peace amidst the country’s difficult human rights track record. ZPP was started in 2000 as the result of the work of many grassroots community organizations seeking to address the country’s ongoing human rights abuses by monitoring, documentation, research and publications, and community peace building interventions. The organization has been active since its early days, having a few periods of downtime associated with Zimbabwe’s major political events.



ZPP is well known by the “ZPP Monthly Monitor”, a monthly report that powerfully displays all the human rights abuses recorded by the 420 community-based peace monitors in a color coded map of Zimbabwe. ZPP uses the violations map to demonstrate how the different electoral constituencies of Zimbabwe are populated by human rights abuses. Choosing the all-too-intuitive green-to-red heatmap methodology, ZPP displays the information they collect on a map that is both easy to read and compelling.

If you are interested in reading more about the case study please refer to my working file here: (consider that this is still work in progress). If you have any comments, please add them to the comments section bellow. Anything is greatly appreciated. :-]