Reclaim Naija

The Ushahidi election monitoring deployment increased voter turnout in the 2011 Nigerian election by 8%.

We explore the capacity for new information and communication technologies (ICTs) to facilitate crowdsourced elections monitoring. In broad terms, we are interested in digitally enabled collective action initiatives by non state actors, especially in places where the state is incapable of meeting the expectations of democratic governance. In the case at hand, we test for effects of crowdsourcing elections monitoring in the form of citizen-generated reports of failures, abuses, and successes through the Ushahidi open-source geographical information systems (GIS) platform in regard to the 2011 Nigerian elections.

"Controlling for a number of factors, we find that the number and nature of crowdmap reports generated by citizens is significantly correlated with increased voter turnout (by 8%) in the 2011 Nigerian presidential election as a result of providing officials with improved information about the functionality of local polling stations."

Key findings

“ At the more granular level, reports of administrative failures (.0006, p ≤  .1), overt electoral manipulation (.004, p ≤  .01), and physical intimidation of voters (.009, p ≤  .01) generated during the April 9th NASS elections are strongly and significantly correlated with increased voter turnout in the subsequent presidential election on April 16. For example, the mean number (N =  19) of reports of overt vote manipulation during the NASS election increases voter turnout in the presidential election by 8 percentage points (see Table 1 ).”

  • “Instead, we show that crowdsourced reports provided operationally critical information about the functionality of the elections process to government election officials. Specifically, crowdsourced information led to the reallocation of resources to specific polling stations (those found to be in some way defective by information provided by crowdsourced information) in preparation for the presidential election.”


Precent voter turnout increase