Uchaguzi, an elections partnership developed in 2010 between InfoNet, Constitution and Reform Education Consortium (CRECO), and Ushahidi, will be working to ensure safety and transparency during October 26th, 2017 Kenyan elections. The platform - Uchaguzi (“Election” in Kiswahili) will use trained monitors and citizen-reported incidences to monitor violence, electoral issues, and peace activities to inform Kenyans on safety, the electoral process, and how their counties and constituencies voted during the October 26th General Elections.
The Uchaguzi platform is built on the Ushahidi software platform for crowdsourcing and situational awareness. Ushahidi, meaning “testimony” in Swahili, was created by Kenyan citizens after the 2008 election. This is the fifth national election using the Ushahidi platform for citizen reporting in Kenya.
Earlier this year the Uchaguzi partnership monitored the August 8th Kenya General Elections. Uchaguzi received over 7000 reports from a mix of sources, 63% came in via SMS, 4% from Twitter, and 24% from other web sources, including newspaper articles. These reports were on voter issues, violence or intimidation during and after the election, and successful voting.
On October 26th Uchaguzi will deploy over 700 monitors across the country at polling stations, brought by CRECO and INFOnet’s Action Response Teams. These monitors and the tens of thousands of citizens can report to Uchaguzi on issues, violence, or peaceful activities happening throughout the voting process. The Uchaguzi team will verify these activities from their 24-hour Situation Room, as well as with Ushahidi’s team of online volunteers from over 10 nations helping to triage and verify reports. Reports will be escalated to the appropriate authorities for response and transparency.
Nathaniel Manning, Ushahidi’s Executive Director, says that “our hope is that the Kenyan Elections will be peaceful.” But if there are any irregularities or issues the 700+ Uchaguzi observers, general public and trained volunteers will be reporting on it via the following sources:
Uchaguzi Short Codes 20660, 20166, or 0700600144,
Facebook: @Uchaguzi2017Kenya or directly through Facebook Messenger,
Further, news outlets can embed the real-time Uchaguzi map, timeline, or a specific report in your website or post, click “share” at Uchaguzi.or.ke
Manning says, “by providing platforms for citizens to witness and provide testimony, Uchaguzi hopes to increase the safety, wellbeing, and transparency of the election process in Kenya.”
Uchaguzi is an Elections initiative developed in 2008 in partnership between three organisations: Ushahidi, Constitution and Reform Education Consortium (CRECO), and InfoNet.
The Role of Uchaguzi initiative is to ensure that Citizens participation in the Electoral process and access to Electoral Services. The Uchaguzi Ecosystem brings together Observers from CRECO 700 + monitors located at various polling stations around the country that perform the important task of Verification. The Ecosystem also brings the Action Response Teams through InfoNET that comprises of the EMBs (Electoral Management Bodies) to respond and action all verified reports. The Action Response Team also works with a team of Analysts to give a state of the Nation Report throughout the Electoral period. Uchaguzi toll free shortcodes 20660 and 20166 are being used for SMS messages countrywide. Ushahidi is the lead technology partner deploying the Ushahidi map through which all incidences and reports are analyzed.For more information: https://www.ushahidi.com/uchaguzi-support/
Ushahidi is a Nairobi-based tech company that empowers people to raise their voices and equips organizations with the tools they need to listen and respond better to their audiences. Its crowdsourcing data platform enables organizations to better collect, manage, visualize, and respond to data across various communication channels, including SMS, web form, mobile app, email, Twitter, and Facebook.