From the Comments to “A Problem From Hell”, below. Justin is an Irish software engineer based in California; Caitríona is an Irish human rights worker based in Iran.
I try to do little bits to help these causes here and there like developing open source software thats useful for everyone; Im ecstatic when I hear of an NGO getting good use from one of those apps. I keep contemplating doing more. But I havent yet and the idea of breaking away to such a degree is the big problem.
Posted by Justin at January 30, 2004 03:15 PM
Every little bit helps Justin. In fact, the most important person in our little office in Tuzla was Andre, our computer expert. He designed a special software to match postmortem data from the bodies we exhumed with antemortem or living information from the surviving families. His work alone reuinted countless families with their missing loved ones.
Posted by Caitriona at January 31, 2004 03:57 AM
So how do we do a better job of putting the Justins in touch with the Caitríonas? We need a matchmaking service to hook up tech professionals with the dedicated field workers who need help. (New York Cares is a good example of a matchmaker service for volunteers.)
The open source community is engaged and civic-minded, and clearly capable of building tools remotely. Product managers (like me) could ask NGO(Non- Governmental Organization) field workers what they need, helping them to build a collection of “user stories”, Extreme Programming style, for volunteer engineers to work on in their spare time.
Any examples out there of this working already? Perhaps the ambitious JHAI Remote Villages project, where Linux meets Laos.