© 2017 NIJEL
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Tree Foundation

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As in many developing countries, much of Ethiopia's original forests have been cleared for subsistence agriculture and for harvesting timber and firewood, diminishing northern Ethiopia's forest cover from 45% of its territory in the early 20th century to less than 5 percent today. A large portion of the remaining forests is concentrated in the northern part of the country, especially in the Lake Tana area. There, bright-green patches of trees surround 3,500 Orthodox Tewahido Churches – a consequence of the Church’s belief in maintaining a woodland home for all God's creatures around the place of worship. Working with the Tree Foundation, NiJeL helped create maps and other visualizations showing the importance of these church forests for biodiversity, and how critically threatended these forests currently are.

Our Mission, Vision and Values

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At NiJeL, we support strong, positive advances in the sustainability of people's lives and our planet through knowledge and information. At the local level, we work to improve our partner's communities and constituencies through data and technology, and we aim to democratize the tools and data needed to to make better social and environmental decisions. We're also always working to bridge the “data divide” and provide everyone the ability to tell their stories and visualize their impacts for advocacy and representation.

We achieve this vision by developing custom systems for data visualization, analysis, and participation for our partners, and teaching our partners to harness their data through "data therapy" to document their program impacts, build strong advocacy tools, and connect with their key audiences. It's also critically important to us that we build strong personal relationships with our partners to develop a technology roadmap for them that aligns with their current workflow and mission.

At the heart of everything we do at NiJeL are our core values of:

  • Being considerate, cooperative, and contentious in work with us, our team, and our partners,
  • Respect for others and their ways of working and using technology,
  • Curiosity to learn new ways of working and try new things,
  • Flexibility to change direction and technology when needed.
Contact Us

Contact Us

We accept all kinds of Hellos.

NiJeL partners with organizations aiming to improve the quality of life for communities around the world. We work with organizations and projects that span cultures from local to global in scale. Our partners include formal large or small NGOs, for-profit companies, government entities, international organizations like the United Nations, and self-organized community groups.

We love talking about data and mapping ideas. We are always looking for new partners and projects so please contact us. We have experience forging relationships with funders of data projects and we may be able to help you with grant-writing.

Email us at jd 'at' nijel.org, lprashad 'at' nijel.org, or nsjones 'at' nijel.org, tweet us @nijel_mapping, or follow us on Facebook. Thanks!