In January 2017, the Ushahidi team gathered to set our priorities for the year. The latest version of the platform had been live for a little over a year, and we were equipped with a treasure trove of user feedback, questions, interviews, and product usage metrics. A few key needs quickly arose:

  1. More robust and flexible privacy options for the data you collect

  2. Quicker and easier survey creation

  3. Redeveloping the functionality and UX around our  “categories” features, so that they more precisely address our users’ needs.

  4. Better localization options

  5. Mobile mobile mobile

Today we're excited to launch several new features to help you and your teams get the most out of Ushahidi. 

Protect sensitive information

Many of you operate under difficult circumstances, whether it’s holding governments accountable, turning the spotlight on abuses and inequities in civil society, coordinating complex logistical humanitarian efforts, or physically searching for those in need of urgent help. Everyday, you ask people to trust you with sensitive information, and we’ve tried to make it easier for you to protect their privacy by introducing field level privacy controls as part of our Survey system. For instance, if you need to collect a person’s name and phone number to connect with them, you can now restrict visibility of specific Survey fields, ensuring that answers to those fields will only be accessible to certain roles within your team.

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Additionally, you can now choose to hide all author information on all responses to a survey from users and visitors who do not have certain permissions.

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Save time creating surveys and tasks

You spent two hours creating and customizing a survey with 35 different data fields, and now you have to spend another two hours creating an almost exact replica with the exception of two data fields.

No. Not anymore. We know. It was frustrating.

To make the process a bit less arduous, you can now duplicate your surveys and/or tasks, rename them, and edit the duplicate. Our hope is that this makes the process of getting from “need” to “use” much faster.


Categorise data

We’ve rebuilt categories to offer better context and content drill-down for both you and the visitors to your deployment. Categories can now be applied to one or multiple surveys, and you can create sub-categories. They appear as filters under the appropriate surveys on the context bar, and are added to surveys as a data field.

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For instance, if the purpose of a given Survey is to capture information about civil or human rights violations, it is now possible to increase the granularity of your categorisation. You can create abstract categories (Legal, Physical, Economic, Social, Cultural, Health) that can then be broken down into specific sub-categories (Forcible Eviction, Water Contamination, Denying Social Assistance Access). The new Categories have a greater ability to capture important details about a given post at varying levels of abstraction, and to allow users to group and filter their data via more informative categorisation.

Language switching

As you attract a more global (or diverse) audience to your deployment, we’ve tried to reduce language barriers by adding a quick language switcher for deployment visitors. We currently support 15 languages and counting, all of which visitors to your deployment can select (note: if you’d like to contribute to translations you can do so through our Transifex page). Visitors’ language selection will not affect the deployment’s default language set by the admin.

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Mobile app

Our mobile app, available for both Android and iOS, now supports open source deployments. Make sure you’ve upgraded to the latest OSS release, and follow the instructions here to allow easy mobile reporting.

Think we’re still missing the mark? Love the new features? Let us know. Login or create a deployment and get in touch with us through the chat window in the lower corner of your deployment. Tells us what feature you would like to see in next releases of Ushahidi.

Other fixes and features in this release: