Press Release: August 7th, 2017
Ushahidi enhances Uchaguzi election monitoring platform’s ability to reach and engage social media communities via Facebook Messenger
Ushahidi, founded out of the Kenyan 2008 post election violence, is announcing the integration of Facebook Messenger to expand the reach of the Uchaguzi 2017 Kenyan election monitoring platform. The Uchaguzi partnership, which includes The Constitution & Reform Education Consortium (CRECO) and InfoNET, monitored the 2010 referendum and the 2013 election and uses the Ushahidi platform to allow citizens and election monitors to report from the ground via many channels such as email, SMS, twitter and embeddable web forms. For the Kenyan 2017 elections, Ushahidi is excited to announce that Facebook Messenger is the newest Platform available in the Uchaguzi deployment of Ushahidi. Integrating this bot for Messenger will improve the user experience, and extend the reach of the platform, to the more than 7 million active Facebook users in Kenyan, allowing them to report on issues during the voting process.
Citizens can report on a successful vote as well a issues such as voter suppression, ballot issues, or violence via the Uchaguzi bot for Messenger. The Messenger bot makes it easy for citizens to answer the multiple questions in a report through the automated dialogue with the bot. Importantly, the bot includes the ability to easily send and receive text and images and interaction with structured messages.
On election day, trained observers, volunteers and witnesses will report to Uchaguzi any electoral related incidences through these digital channels, such as Facebook Messenger. These reports are then received by the hundreds of volunteers who will structure, geo-reference, and verify them. The reports are then visualized and made public on a map, timeline, and stats board at Uchaguzi.or.ke. Further they are shared with appropriate officials for organizations to respond when necessary. Citizens can sign up to receive alerts based on location, keyword, and timeframe at Uchaguzi. The result of this partnership is that electoral and response organisations have a new channel to monitor electoral incidences; and citizens have an easy to use tool to capture and report critical information during the August 8th elections.
Through this platform Ushahidi intends to help Kenya have a free, fair, peaceful and credible 2017 general election by increasing transparency and accountability through active citizen participation in the electoral cycle.
To report via the Uchaguzi Facebook Messenger Bot:
Open Facebook Messenger or visit www.messenger.com
Get started/send report
To embed the real-time Uchaguzi map, timeline, or a specific report in your website or post, click “share” at Uchaguzi.or.ke.
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 shortcode 20166 is 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/