Rebekah is a Lawrence, Kansas native who currently lives in Boston. She writes about technology, aid & development, East African public transit and anything else that strikes her fancy at Jackfruity. She previously co-directed the GV Technology for Transparency Network.
Latest posts by Rebekah Heacock
Uganda: Can a Viral Video Really #StopKony?
A film aimed at making Ugandan guerilla leader Joseph Kony "famous" in order to raise support for his arrest has swept the Internet by storm, pushing #StopKony onto Twitter's trending topics list and prompting a wave of backlash from bloggers who worry the film and its associated campaign are overly simplistic.
Uganda: Women's Groups, Lawyers Join Walk to Work Protests
As Uganda's Walk to Work protests enter their second month, the original group of opposition politicians has now been joined by women's organizations and lawyers who are angered not only by high fuel and food prices, but also by the brutality of the government's response to the protests.
Uganda: Police Paint Protesters Pink
Ugandan police have responded to the past month's ongoing Walk to Work protests by spraying protesters with tear gas and live bullets. During a demonstration on Tuesday, they took a different tack, firing water cannons filled with pink liquid at demonstrators who were attempting to walk to Constitution Square in the center of Kampala.
Uganda: Government Attempts to Block Facebook, Twitter as Protests Continue
As opposition politicians and others angry over rising fuel and food prices in Uganda continue to stage "walk to work" protests against the current regime, the government is asking Internet service providers (ISPs) to shut down access to Facebook and Twitter.
Uganda: #walk2work Arrests Spur Hunger Strike, Future Protests
Rather than backing down after the arrest of two Ugandan opposition leaders for staging a "Walk to Work" protest against high fuel and food prices on Monday, Ugandan activists have responded by announcing a hunger strike and planning more demonstrations.
Uganda: Bloggers Apprehensive as Voters Go to Polls
Ugandans go to the polls on Friday for the country's second round of multiparty elections since current president Yoweri Museveni took power in 1986. The mood among both Ugandans on Twitter and the blogosphere is apprehensive.
Uganda: Protests in North Africa Won't Affect the Upcoming Election
Rosebell Kagumire argues that the recent protests in North Africa won't affect Uganda's upcoming election: “There’s a lot of money being distributed now across the country as we near the voting day on February 18th. And the youth who could have made a difference are part of this crowd which...
Uganda: Gay Rights Activist Found Murdered
Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was found murdered yesterday, just weeks after winning a court case against a local newspaper that had called for Ugandans to “hang” homosexuals. Kato was an advocacy officer for gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda, which published a press release reading: David was brutally...
Technology for Transparency: Five New Cases, With More to Come!
The Technology for Transparency Network is thrilled to announce the start of the publication of our second phase of research. Beginning with five cases — Accountability Initiative in India, Amatora mu mahoro in Burundi, Democrator.ru in Russia, Excelências in Brazil, and Mam Prawo Wiedzieć in Poland — we will be...
Technology for Transparency: Five Lessons Learned
Rebekah Heacock and Renata Avila outline the learnings from the first round of Global Voices' Technology for Transparency Network collaborative research project, sharing links to several successful online initiatives.
Uganda: Bloggers react to bomb blasts
Soccer fans gathered in bars and restaurants around the globe to watch the final game of the World Cup last night. In Uganda, these celebrations were interrupted when bombs exploded at two popular nightlife spots in Kampala, the country's capital.
Announcing Round Two of the Technology for Transparency Network
Transparency International's 2009 Global Corruption Barometer found that citizens around the world are increasingly worried about corruption in both the public and private sectors. People are often hesitant to speak out against corruption, and see traditional complaint mechanisms as ineffective. A growing number of citizens, however, are beginning to use...
Tech for Transparency in Sub-Saharan Africa
Transparency and accountability efforts are supported by a growing tech community in sub-Saharan Africa, though a widespread lack of access to information and communications technology (ICT) and a consequent lack of understanding and interest in these tools constitute a significant challenge to their success.
Sudan: Checking in with Sudan Vote Monitor
On the eve of Sudan's 2010 presidential elections, I interviewed Fareed Zein, who heads the citizen election monitoring project Sudan Vote Monitor. On Wednesday I checked in with Zein to get his thoughts on the project now that the elections have ended.
Uganda: LGBT activist to speak in NY
Frank Mugisha, head of Ugandan activist group Sexual Minorities Uganda, is speaking in New York City on March 22.
Uganda: Students riot, Kampala burns
Two separate tragedies struck Kampala, the capital of Uganda, on Tuesday: students at Makerere University rioted after the shooting death of two of their peers. And the Kasubi Tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the burial location of the king of one of Uganda's largest ethnic groups, burned to the ground.
Sudan: Is ICT all it's cracked up to be?
The Financial Times recently reported that a multimillion dollar World Bank plan to supply Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan, with computers and Internet access has fallen through. The news forces the question: is the hype surrounding information and communication technology (ICT) justified?
Uganda: Hundreds feared dead in landslide
A mudslide in eastern Uganda Monday evening left at least 80 people dead and over 300 missing. The mudslide, triggered by a day of heavy rain, has buried three villages in Bududa district and displaced more than 2000 people from their homes.
Uganda: President Says He Will Block Anti-Gay Bill
Uganda's proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 still awaits a final decision by the country's Parliament, but the country's Daily Monitor newspaper reported Wednesday that President Yoweri Museveni has "assured the US State Department of his willingness to block the Bill."
Uganda: Blogs, Twitter Keep World Informed as Kampala Riots Continue
As riots shook Kampala, the capital of Uganda, for the second day, bloggers and other netizens rallied to keep the world informed.
Uganda: Nine Dead in Kampala Riots
Riots in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, have led to the deaths of at least nine people (BBC) as members of the Baganda ethnic group clashed with police and military forces on Thursday and Friday.