Timby (This is My Backyard) is a set of digital tools and training developed to help community groups and organizations build evidence-based investigations, legal cases and impact related to climate change. With the help of ITP, Timby is now in use in over 40 countries and 22 languages by online and offline users, via the Timby Mobile App, Dashboard and Content-Creation System. As Timby groups build out their projects, they want to integrate more data into their system. This includes reports from anonymous contributors as well as information scraped from the internet that could be scientifically, politically, socially or financially relevant to their cause. For example groups in Ivory Coast on climate-related drought might want to open reporting to the experiences of all farmers in the country and scrape data from media reports, global databases and satellite feeds to build their cases.
We propose to use this grant to start to transform Timby into a full climate information management system. This is a progression of the work we’ve been doing with the help of ITP, including the addition of analytics and machine learning into the system in our most recent grant cycle.
Specifically, we will use the grant to:
- Engineer the Timby system to integrate reports from anonymous contributors via WhatsApp, SMS and voice lines, so contributors without access to the Timby system and without a smartphone can participate.
- Engineer the Timby system to scrape data from social media channels via hashtags, so groups can leverage big data and media feeds to build their cases.
- Work with four major climate-centric NGO collaborators – The Environmental Investigation Agency, Rainforest Foundation US, Friends of the Earth, and Communities for a Better Environment (through several of their offices in Asia, Africa, South America and North America) to design, customize, implement and refine this information management system through practical use cases.