Our View on Developments at Ushahidi

July 23, 2017

We condemn all forms of workplace intimidation and harassment and believe all individuals must be treated with dignity and respect. 

We admire and support the victim for coming forward, bringing this to the attention of Ushahidi’s Board and, at the right time, sharing her story more broadly.  Her courage exposes sexual harassment for what it is -- a shameful power dynamic of bullying, intimidation, and coercion -- and demonstrates how it infiltrates all sectors and strata of society.  Her story is a cautionary tale that we must all be mindful and attentive in the workplace, our communities, and within our families, and we must prevent such attitudes and behavior from being ignored or tolerated.

Based on the public statement from the organization, we believe the Board took the correct action in terminating the employment of the executive director of Ushahidi, an organization Omidyar Network funded between 2009 and 2014. 

We also recognize this is only the first step any board must take in these circumstances.  It’s incumbent on those who govern to examine and monitor an organization’s culture and strive to foster an environment that protects its employees.  If an organization fails in meeting that condition, steps must be taken to rectify and prevent it from happening again, as well as ideally sharing those general learnings with others to prevent those conditions from being replicated elsewhere.

The mission, people, and promise of Ushahidi, and the many communities the organization has served so well, deserve nothing less.

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