It was a full house at the iHub yesterday evening as the Kenyan UchaguziCommunity made up of Social Media users, Mappers, Researchers, Developers, Journalists, and individuals interested in the Uchaguzi platform and the elections in general met.
The agenda of the evening was: shareUshahidi’s plans for the Kenya 2013 elections, share iHub Research’s Umati findings(download reportshereandhere), demo theUchaguzi platformand inviting the local community teams to to get involved with Uchaguzi.
The aim of the meetup was to:
- Celebrate five years of Ushahidi's existence: (The entire Ushahidi team is in the country ..!)
- Introduce the Uchaguzi platform , objectives andthe partners collaborating on the project. Umati is one of Uchaguzi's partners, and are responsible (under iHub Research) for carrying out research and analysis on online hate speech, then disseminating this information to Uchaguzi.)
During the break out sessions , the audience was divided into six groups six groups , under the theme “It takes you” to help find out what people want/ expect from Uchaguzi:
- Tech Group: -User Design (UX), Design, Mapping
- Research - how do we make sense of all thses dots on the map? What research do we need in order to inform our maps?
- Communications, Community and Outreach – how do we bring the offline online?
- Online Campaign (Social Media, Blogging) – how can we use our online powers to connect the different communities
- Research, Analytics and Analysis – How can we learn from data gathered from research and analytics to inform best practices on eg - Uchaguzi?
- Translation -Can we translate the Uchaguzi and Ushahidi platforms into Swahili
Erik Hersman , blogger and co-founder Ushahidi leads the social media and blogging breakout session
"Crowd , Verification, Response" - the three core values that run Uchaguzi.
"There was nothing special about those of us that built Ushahidi in 2008, we were just individuals who were trying to do something. In 2013 it's the same all over again, it takes individuals like you and me to decide to do something, and make a difference." - Erik Hersman, co-founder, Ushahidi.
"We have gone beyond observering our election or even monitoring our election. We are now talking about protecting our election. Kenya citizens have the power" Daudi Were, Uchaguzi Project Lead.
" ... its the passion we have for what we do. " Juliana Rotich, Ushahidi. Other Notable Election Apps/ Platforms/Information Resources that you can use to keep informed, find out more about those vying and on general information
- Uchaguzi-Uchaguzi is a technology platform that allows citizens and civil society to monitor and report incidences around the electoral process.
- Nation Media Group'sElections portal
- Google'sKenya Elections Hub- a portal for voters, journalists and campaigners to easily track news, trends and information related to the March elections
- Mzalendo - Information Resource on ... Mzalendo (‘Patriot’ in Swahili) is a non-partisan project started in 2003 whose mission is to “keep an eye on the Kenyan parliament”
‘Crowdmapping the World, Yet Rooted in Kenya’ was the introductory phrase by Juliana Rotich introduced the meetup by giving a background of Ushahidi that resulted out of the 2007 post election violence, its growth globally and now 5 years later, it has come full circle with the creation of Uchaguzi that has been developed as a platform to monitor the elections using technology (ICT).
Daudi then picked up from Juliana to explain the Uchaguzi platform that was first deployed during the 2010 referendum elections in Kenya. One of the success points of the deployment then was that out of the 40 actionable reports, IEBC responded and acted on 36 of them ensuring that the peace and fairness was promoted during the referendum.
The Uchaguzi platform is basing its processes on Crowd, Verification and Response. The crowd being the ordinary citizen that would want to interact with the platform in the most user friendly manner. Verification has to deal with ensuring that the information that comes to the platform is correct while reponse deals with sending out the information to appropriate audiences for action.
Umati the online hate speech monitoring project was then introduced to the meetup by Angela Crandall and Kagonya Awori. They shared on the tenets of dangerous speech and the methodology used to rate hate speech. Finally a demo of the Uchaguzi platform was given by Linda Kamau and Jepchumba of Ushahidi.
About UchaguziUchaguzi is a technology platform that allows citizens and civil society to monitor and report incidences around the electoral process.
Uchaguzi provides web and mobile-based channels for citizens and civil society to report on electoral offences such as intimidation, hate speech, vote buying, polling clerk bias, voting mis-information etc. The reports are then sent to the electoral authorities or security personnel for action.
Uchaguzi recognizes the need for empowering citizens in the protection of democracy by inspiring individual and collective action in enforcing transparency, accountability and efficient electoral service delivery.Uchaguzi is .... Read up on them here:
Our flagship Umati project seeks to monitor and report the role of new media on an election. Our Kenya-based project has citizens at its core and uses relevant technologies to collect, organize, analyze, and disseminate the information collected.Download the Reports
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