Susannah Vila

Susannah works for the engine room, an organization aiming to advance the use of new technologies in advocacy through a combination of applied research and strategic support for emerging initiatives.

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Latest posts by Susannah Vila

Winning Applications from Latin America's Biggest Hackathon

  5 December 2012

Desarrollando America Latina, a kind of World Cup for hackers in Latin America, took place this weekend in 8 countries in South and Central America. When technologists get in the room with open data and a mandate to address social problems, a lot can happen. Here are some of the winning ideas.

Crowdmapping Water Contamination in Peruvian Indigenous Communities

  23 November 2012

How can individuals hold the extractive industries accountable for the impacts – poisoned water, food, and heightened conflict are a few examples – of its activities? One project, called La Cuidadora, provides an information sharing network to assist indigenous communities in better protecting themselves from these impacts.

Collaboration on Crowdsourced Mapping in Venezuela

  5 October 2012

A lot of people will be Tweeting, Facebook updating and texting about the presidential election in Venezuela this weekend -and many will be using social media to share reports of violence or misconduct. A few enterprising citizens have set up systems to catch and save these reports.

Cuba: Communist Party Ushers in Entrepreneurism and Term Limits

  20 April 2011

For the minority of Cubans who are within it, the blogosphere provides a space to exchange ideas. And there were plenty prompts for discussion this week, with the Castro brothers holding the first Congress of its Communist party since 1997 (it is supposed to be every five years) and announcing term limits for leadership on the island.

Cuba: “Operation Cyber-Mambí”

  8 February 2011

There has been much speculation of late as to whether the spirit of protest will find its way from Egypt and Tunisia to the Caribbean. If the lock on the marketplace of information maintained by Castro's government is what's standing between discontented Cuban citizens and protest, then recent attempts to use “counterrevolutionary” bloggers' tactics against them have come as no surprise to netizens.

Cuba: Monitoring Arrests

  21 May 2010

Ever since the February, 2010 death of Orlando Zapato Tamayo, the first Cuban hunger striker to perish in 40 years, the situation in the island appears to have become even more tense.

“Damas de Blanco:” A Week of Protest in Cuba

  20 March 2010

Cuba's Damas de Blanco protests come on the heels of a flutter of international condemnation incited by the hunger striker Orlando Zapata Tamayo's death last month. Wednesday's crackdown by Cuban police was the first in two years on the political group, which is made up of the daughters, wives and mothers of imprisoned political dissidents.

U.S.A., Cuba: Cuban-American Congressman Announces Resignation

  13 February 2010

Bloggers in Miami and Cuba are buzzing over the news that US Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart will not run for reelection in the fall. Diaz-Balart, a Republican, is a staunch supporter of the trade embargo against Cuba, and he took his resignation speech as an opportunity to highlight his role in codifying the embargo.

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