The Uchaguzi project is preparing for tomorrow’s Kenyan elections by enabling citizens around the country to instantly report any instances they see of voter intimidation, election violence, ballot stuffing or other irregularities. Reports will be aggregated and displayed in map form on the Web for all to see as well as forwarded to gov’t agencies and NGO’s for action. The public will be able to send reports via text messages (cell phones are the most popular and cheapest method of telecommunication in Africa), email, Twitter and Facebook. See the map showing incidents to date and access a sample report form at https://uchaguzi.co.ke/main.
The Uchaguzi project is an outgrowth of the Ushahidi crowdsourcing platform, developed by Ory Okolloh & others during the 2008 post election violence (over 1,000 killed) to keep track of killings, house burnings, etc. Since then the Ushahidi software has been used by human rights activists around the world – in Haiti after the earthquake to collect details of emergency needs, in Syria to give women a platform to submit reports of sexual violence, in Egypt to track over 2,000 incidents of corruption, and in Canada to collect & map reports of the numerous (often unsolved) murders of indigenous women. Too often the technical contributions of Africans are overlooked, and the developers of Ushahidi deserve more recognition than they have received.