Uchaguzi 2017 Overview and Background

What is Uchaguzi

Uchaguzi is a customized deployment of the Ushahidi platform to monitor the Kenyan general election, which is to be held on 8th August 2017. The project is convened by Ushahidi, Creco and Infonet .

Aim

The aim of Uchaguzi is to help Kenya have a free, fair, peaceful, and credible general election in 2017.

Strategy

Increase transparency and accountability through active citizen participation in the electoral cycles. Uchaguzi mobilizes citizens to be directly involved in protecting their vote and electoral process. For Uchaguzi the electoral process is a permanent and recurrent cycle, in which every stage, and not just the Election Day, counts.

How

The strategy is implemented through a broad network of civil society around Uchaguzi as the national citizen-centred electoral observation platform that responds to citizen observations.  Uchaguzi is coordinated through uchaguzi.or.ke which enable citizens to report, with any technology available to them, any incidences significant to the election.

Significance of Kenya 2017:

August 2017 will mark the second election in Kenya since the new (2010) constitution. The Constitution of Kenya 2010 created an elaborate system of checks and balances, complete with independent offices and commissions that fully came into force after the 2013 general elections. Further reforms have been implemented ahead of the 2017 elections, such as new leadership at the Supreme Court of Kenya, which should inspire more confidence in voters of a transparent and credible election.

However, the inconsistencies between the reported results and those shown by independent monitoring during the primaries is troubling. It is clear that there is a need for a safe, trusted independent monitoring of the electoral process and results reported at each voting station.

Ushahidi has built partnerships with local civil society organizations, official NGOs, governments, religious organizations and Local election observation groups. We will be launching for the Kenya elections.

Three Key Components

Crowd: Tapping into the collective intelligence of the crowd. This is the main focus of Uchaguzi and the largest source of data. We want people to send us any information on the election/electoral process that they feel is significant

Verification: Tthe process through which Uchaguzi evaluates information and determines how credible it is

Response: Getting verified information to organizations and individuals who can intervene positively and monitor that response to measure its effectiveness.

Background to Kenya Elections 2017

Kenya is having their General Elections on August 8th, 2017 that is conducted every 5 years; under a new constitutional dispensation that was promulgated on 27 August 2010. This constitution brought about the devolution of government such that there will be two levels of government i.e. at a national level and county level. 

The government structure therein consists of the executive, legislature and the judiciary that form the three arms of government. 

  • The executive at the top most levels will be constituted of a President, Deputy President, and the Cabinet. 
  • The legislature constitutes an upper house known as The Senate and each of the 47 counties will have a senator; a lower house known as the National Assembly and each of the 290 constituencies will have a Member of National Assembly as well as a woman representative and the county assemblies and executive that where each county will have a governor and a county assembly elected with representatives from wards within the county. 
  • The third arm of government is the judiciary that constituting the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the Attorney General.

Whereas in the previous elections citizens voted for three elective positions (President, Member of Parliament and Councillor), the new constitution translates into citizens voting in for 6 elective positions i.e. President, Governor, Senator, County Women’s Representative, County Assembly Representative and Member of Parliament.

Polling stations will be opened at 06:00 EAT and will close at 17:00 EAT on election day. The body charged with managing the elections is the IEBC.

Other Resources

Registered political parties

County fact file map by Commission on Revenue Allocation

List of Candidates for 2017 General Elections

Polling Stations and Tallying Centers