On 5th August, 2017, the Uchaguzi 2017 situation room went live.

This is after a month of intense physical training sessions in Nairobi, and a series of online training sessions for volunteers looking to participate from other parts of the world.

We’ve had more than 160 active volunteers working round the clock on processing data within the Uchaguzi platform, based on the following workflow.

There are fewer messages of a tribal nature, either positive or negative. A sample of 2800 analyzed messages revealed that a specific tribe name was mentioned only four times whereas “Kenyans” was used fifty-two times! This is a promising indicator for post-election peace, prosperity, and governing structures.

We received over 270 positive event reports, as compared to sixty security issues. Injuries that have been reported have often occurred during queue management. The high turnout in some places is a great indicator of the involvement of the Kenyan citizenry, but has created challenges and bottlenecks in managing the lines. Some reports indicating the officials have not been strict enough while a few others observe too much discipline being conducted, which reveals the balance necessary to conduct a safe but hassle-free voting environment.

Though the voting issues category now includes over 200 submissions, the larger pool has to be considered to put this figure in context. The long lines indicate heavy turnout, so it is fair to say that there have been well over ten million votes casted already. Recent surveys showing that 88% of Kenyans have mobile phones gives credence to the belief that our crowd sourced data, though not a perfectly complete picture, does have much messaging value. Two hundred voting issues out of ten million cast is a problem rate of only .002%, a figure which begins to become statistically meaningless. The voting issues that have been reported are centered around machine problems and rejected ballots. Where there were polling station issues, the most often used description was ‘confusion’.

Early morning challenges with the KIEMS kits seem to have dwindled as the more recent messages sent in to the system are populated with “KIEMS working”. There also continues to be an absence of looting and gender based violence events. The underlying good will and resilience of the Kenyan people is born out in many massages received, including “Power has gone out, but organized voting continues anyways” and “Reporting from MOW in South C Nairobi, the queues are now shorter, very well organized, mothers with children and the elderly are given a priority.”