Empowering Homegrown Community Monitors

Researcher: Eli Berman (UC San Diego), Cesi Cruz, Erin Troland
Location: Philippines

Project Description

Community Monitors

Designing effective monitoring systems is a major problem in the developing world. In the Philippines, government authorities lack the capacity to effectively monitor destructive black sand mines. This project will address this problem by designing an information and communications technology (ICT) monitoring system to connect grassroots community monitors to government authorities and the public.

The ICT monitoring system will combine short message service (SMS), Twitter and a custom-built dashboard to leverage community monitors to collect systematic data on black sand mining. The system will transmit this data to the dashboard, giving central authorities accurate and actionable monitoring data. The research group combines political science, economics and ICT expertise with an existing community monitoring group known as Ilocos Sur Collective Action for the Protection of the Environment (ISCAPE) to field test the monitoring system.

This innovation will allow authorities to have accurate and actionable monitoring data to improve their efforts to shut down mining operations.