Babak was working in ICT4D (2001) before it had a name, never really left it, and knows how to throw together a pretty mean combination of PHP, HTML5, CSS and jQuery. He designed a method to geotag Flickr photos (2006) before Flickr was doing it, brought photomarathons to Africa (2007) and won the Highway Africa new media award (2007) with Ismail Farouk. Work of his was selected to represent Uganda at the World Summit Award, twice (2011, 2012), winning the global competition in 2012 with Eduardo Cachucho. Twice, he made it to the Guinness book of records (1994, 2011).
He's had both joint (2007) and solo (2011) photography exhibitions and created what was probably the first mobile phone based city tour (2004) as well as what probably was the first QR-code assisted smartphone-based city tour (2009).
After graduating with a M. Sc. in mathematics (1997), he worked on four continents, in over a dozen countries, first at one of the world's largest blue chip companies, later as a freelancer. He has visited about 100 countries and territories.
Web development, IT-services and support, focused on knowledge- and capacity building. Major clients include ActionAid, IRC, Inis, SACSIS, SAfAIDS, Varibel, NIROV and ITpreneurs. For a full list of clients and projects, visit Baba's projects.
GOAL is an international humanitarian agency dedicated to alleviating the suffering of the poorest of the poor. For their Disadvantaged Children and Youths Program, they needed a web-based system to monitor progress of the youths through GOAL's support processes to facilitate reintegration. The system, monitoring several 1000s of youths was to replace a paper based workflow.
The system needed to be accessible from multiple locations and required semi-hierarchical access rights for different individuals as well as the ability to fully audit any change in information. On top of that, the system needed to provide information as to what extent predefined EU indicators were being met by implementation of the program.
Uganda Radio Network (URN) is a subscription-based independent news agency and training center that produces current affairs programs, documentaries and the latest news on Uganda and has been active since 2005, going through two different online article distribution systems, it was my task to consolidate the two wildly different systems used in the previous six years and build a semi-public news management system for the few scores of the organizations clients, mostly radio stations, throughout the country.
Responsible for visually and functionally designing and implementing the website for the citizen-centered initiative, focusing on large-scale change in East Africa that is Twaweza as well as for the related projects Uwezo and Uwazi. Included capacity building of local and international staff.
Technical, functional and graphical designer as well as one of the developers of the platform OVCsupport.net, the global hub for information and exchange related to orphans and vulnerable children. Funded by USAID the project was implemented by a team from both HDN, in Thailand, and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in the UK.
Tasks included market research, determining the prominent individuals in the field and developing methods for effectively communicating the platform's message by using a host of social networks.
Analyst, consultant and developer for the online activities facilitated and initiated by HDN, Health & Development networks. This included revamping the HDN website and designing and building an extensive platform facilitating a network of citizen journalists, HealthDev.net, in the field of human development for thousands of existing individuals.
The project included designing, implementing and hosting multiple trainings of community-based contributors in both south east Asia and southern and central Africa.
Through the Dutch organization ICCO, sent to Afghanistan to help DACAAR's IT department become more professional and up to speed with its international counterparts. DACAAR, with over 1000 employees, is a primarily Danish funded NGO which works towards sustainable livelihoods for rural Afghans with four major offices in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Responsibilities included IT consultancy and capacity building in relation to security and safety of the IT environment. Management was introduced to the long term opportunities and challenges of maintaining a well-managed IT infrastructure. Employees were gotten up to speed with a modern IT environment.
During the project, several new software packages were introduced for which regular staff was trained. This included an internal communication and information sharing system based on the open source tool PHProjekt and several other open source packages.
Through the Dutch organization ICCO, sent to Zimbabwe on a two year contract to train and support staff in IT usage and decision making at the national sports body of the country. Through a needs based model, responsibilities and training was to extend to affiliated organizations throughout the country.
Due to too many local challenges, the project was cancelled early.
Through the American organization Geekcorps, sent to Mongolia as part of a team of IT professionals. Our aim was to support and develop IT projects and skills in several, distinct, organizations.
Responsible for the transfer of general web design and web development skills at a local bank. The objective was to build an intra-office communication environment which could be used by all local staff for information gathering and sharing. It was imperative that local staff needed to be trained to maintain and build on this new system. A second objective was to support and advise the organization in its IT procurement strategy.
The created internal communication environment is still in place and has been built upon by local staff to more closely fit the ever changing requirements of the organization.
Through the American organization Geekcorps, sent to Ghana as part of a team of IT professionals. Our aim was to support and develop IT skills in several, distinct, organizations.
Responsible for the transfer of general web design and web development skills at a national radio station serving as an important source of local news for the Ghanaian diaspora through a, then, very basic website. The final objective was to deliver a database driven, content centered website which was going to be easy to maintain and easy to build upon by local IT staff and be used by journalists as a means to distribute the news.
A very successful project, the technical infrastructure built in 2001 is still in place now and forms the basis for the current web environment.
Bi-Cycle creates a software tool for maintenance managers working with large scale industrial processes. Responsibilities were three-fold. In 1999, Bi-Cycle was a very young company; I was the first employee.
Managerial responsibilities for a EMEA Sales and shipments management reporting system. The system, which tracked sales and shipments of all the company's consumer goods in Europe, was used all over the EMEA region to predict future trends and define current actions. The software was maintained in the company's software development center just outside Warsaw, Poland.
For developing this system, it was invaluable to meet requirements from the user base with the possibilities of the software and the software developers, translating 'real-world' requirements into technical specifications and communicating technical limitations and possibilities in understandable terminologies.
A member of the AIDSPortal technical reference group. AIDSPortal is an internet platform which provides tools to support global collaboration and knowledge sharing among new and existing networks of people responding to the AIDS epidemic. The technical reference group's primary tasks focus on reviewing and developing the technical roadmap for the platform.
Deriveapp is an implementation based on the concept of psychogeography as defined by the Situationist Interntional in the 1950s. A derive is an assisted semi-random meander, typically through an urban environment. Deriveapp is a web-based mobile app which works on any platform with a fairly modern browser and was developed together with Eduardo Cachucho.
Deriveapp won the 2012 World Summit Award in the m-Tourism & Culture category.
An artistic comparison of Freetown's past and present, effectively creating works that provide a window into the past of this war torn and economically challenged country.
The works pose the obvious question as to what extent life has improved in out of the way African cities over the last 50 years and, on their own, create stark reminders of a life and world now gone.
The images from this series were the subject of a solo exhibition at Bliss, in Freetown, in January 2012.
Online mobile tours of Johannesburg, Delft and Chiang Mai using 2D bar codes distributed throughout these cities, deploying Google Maps as a GIS. Using a mobile phone with a software baed barcode scanner, which is available for the majority of cellphones, a user scans a barcode he finds somewhere in the two cities, after which he's taken to a webpage with information on the location and information on how to get to nearby locations.
The concept of cellphone based tours is based on an earlier implementation dating from 2004 which has been incorporated into the above platform.
Organizer of the first and second African photomarathons, a photomarathon being 'an event, characterized by great length and concentrated effort and typically lasting 12 to 24 hours, where participants obtain a series of photographs on predefined subjects'.
Resident artist as a photographer and web-based artist at The Bag Factory. The residency ended with a joint exhibition at The Bag Factory and the creation of Beeldenstad.net :: Johannesburg (now offline).
Soweto uprisings . com documents the student uprisings on the 16th of June 1976 in Soweto, Johannesburg (South Africa) and related events and information, using Google Maps as a GIS for delivering geospatial information. Bringing together the routes and points of interest on a satalite image of Soweto, visitors to the website can submit their own experiences, include their own pictures and more.
Soweto uprisings . com won the prestigious Highway Africa new media award in 2007.
Brussel Stripstad . be lists and features the comic strip related wall paintings in Brussels. Anyone can submit their own images to be included on the interactive, dynamically created map based on Google Maps technology.
A gaming concept, bringing together current favorites such as DDR Revolution, Singstar and ParaParaParadise with the commoditization of sex and sex toys.
Commemorating the end of the Russo-Turkish war in 1878 and located in Varna, Bulgaria, this Soviet-built monster of a memorial is typical for the socialist realistic style of the time. This study investigates the art in social realism.
Listing art in public places in several major cities around the globe, individuals were able to upload pictures and submit their cities for inclusion. The highly collaborative nature of the project not only made it visually appealing but also extremely dynamic.
The very first website which brought together event photography and (free) online delivery.
Graduated as a M. Sc. in mathematics at the Technical University of Delft, with majors in knowledge based engineering and mathematical systems theory.
For my thesis, I developed a method of dynamically approximating multidimensional statistical distributions where the quality of the approximations would increase as the number of data points increased, without requiring to store all previous data points. This was considered a ground-breaking approach.
This method was developed for a discrete event simulator, OMNeT++, a software package typically used to simulate the performance of large networked structures. I worked on my thesis in Budapest, Hungary, at the Technical University of Budapest.
Fluent in the web programming languages ASP, PHP, CSS, XML, AJAX and HTML. Extremely familiar with database environments MySQL, MSSQL and Access. A very decent understanding of Oracle.
Rusty knowledge of C++ and Pascal.
Power user and advocate of almost everything Mac. Former power user of the MS Windows and MS Office platforms. A very strong understanding of OpenOffice.org and Macromedia software packages. Very familiar with Linux, Photoshop, the Gimp and much more.
Near native, both spoken and written.
Fluent in spoken German, very decent in written German.
Working knowledge of spoken French, reasonable understanding of written French.
The language of Iran. Working knowledge of spoken and written Farsi.
Rusty, but formerly very decent in understanding both spoken and written Hungarian.
I'm an extensive traveler and have been given the chance to visit and marvel at nearly 100 countries. In fact, my first major personal web-project was a portal which collected travelogues (travel stories) from people all over the world, Travelhog.net. In its heyday, the site was ranked amongst the top 30.000 most visited websites in the world. Today, that would compare favorably to the popularity of a major (western) newspaper.
With traveling almost always comes photography. But not only do I enjoy photography 'on the road', I also enjoy it closer at home. I've created several websites which publish interesting work in particular areas. Besides my private collection of panorama pictures from around the globe, I set up and managed a website where photographs of art in public spaces were published, Beeldenstad.net, and ran a 'party-pics' website, Portreat.com. More recently, I also added a mix of Google maps and Flickr, plotting pictures of comic-strip related art on a map of Brussels at Brussel Stripstad . be.
Organized a two week trip for twenty friends to Beius, in the north of Romania. Here, working together with Habitat for Humanity, we built a house for local people unable to fully financially support themselves. Habitat seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.
Responsibilities included organizing travel and accommodation arrangements and setting up daily schedules in cooperation with local Habitat representatives.
I try to make a point of spending a part of my time on IT projects for socially-minded organizations who don't have the financial power to pay regular (or any!) fees. In the past and among others, I've created the web environments for Geekcorps and United Civilians for Peace.
Responsible for the redesign of the PBI, Peace Brigades International, magazine.