Three members of Ushahidi‘s nine-member board have left the board. Chair Ethan Zuckerman of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, Stephen King of Omidyar Network and Dorcas Muthoni of Openworld have stepped down, having served their full terms.
The reasons cited for the exit are both procedural and personal. One Kenyan blogger is however suggesting that the board members are leaving in less than happy circumstances.
4 Ushahidi board members (Ethan Zuckerman, Stephen King, Sally Chin and Dorcas Muthoni) have resigned in protest at fraud in the org.
— Robert ALAI, HSC (@RobertAlai) November 20, 2015
In response, board chair Ethan Zuckerman stated that he was leaving due to differences in opinion with the organization’s founders, not fraud as was speculated by Robert Alai.
@RobertAlai Not true, Robert. I resigned due to a difference of opinion with Ushahidi founders. Fraud was not an issue.
— Ethan Zuckerman (@EthanZ) November 21, 2015
Left on Ushahidi’s board are Erik Hersman, David Kobia and Juliana Rotich, who co-founded Ushahidi with Ory Okolloh. Ory left the organization in 2010. Also on the board are Clay Shirky of New York University, Sally Chin of Oxfam International, and Nora Denzel, who is also on the board at Ericsson, for a total of six remaining board members.
Founded in 2008, Ushahidi is a crowdmapping platform that was initially used to collect information on incidents during the 2007-2008 Post-Election Violence in Kenya. Since then, it has been deployed in numerous incidents such as earthquakes, floods and terror attacks to collect information and coordinate response during disasters. The founding members of Ushahidi were also instrumental in the establishment of the iHub, a co-working space for Nairobi’s tech entrepreneurs, which has in turn spawned a vibrant ecosystem of different but connected technology startup and impact initiatives, including BRCK and Gearbox.
UPDATE: A previous version of this post stated that four members of the board had stepped down. It has since been established that Sally Chin is still on the board. We regret the error.