FrontlineSMS has a strong and buzzing user base in Kenya, and I have already heard a few different users mention that they are thinking of using of FrontlineSMS in the Kenyan elections in 2012. Therefore I wanted to start this forum discussion to provide people with a place to share and potentially coordinate ideas, efforts, plans, and actions for using FrontlineSMS in this way.
There is a wealth of knowledge in the FrontlineSMS user community and it will be great if all those considering using FrontlineSMS for monitoring Kenyan elections in 2012 could inform and support each other!
So please use this discussion to share your plans for Kenyan elections 2012!
Joseph Owuondo is one user on the forum who has recently asked about this, because he is developing an Early Warning and Earle Response Coordination System 2012 General Election in Kenya, focused on the Nyanza Province: https://nyanza.crowdmap.com. If anyone has further advice / comments on below please feel free to jump in!
Joseph, you asked for advice on how to 1) Set up a Structural Office for 13 months; 2) Identify and Train the community reporters and 3) Developing technology attached the FrontlineSMS and Ushaidi - Crowdmap.
In answer to your questions:
1) This is different for every program, and so will likely be something you have to plan with those who are working on this with you directly in Kenya. That said, if you have specific questions / ideas you'd like to share as your planning progresses then feel free to ask here on the forum, and the team / other users will always help if we can!
2) There is an interesting model for this provided by African Great Lakes Initiative, for their monitoring of 2010 Burundi elections. You can read more about this on the FrontlineSMS blog here.
3) We are co-hosting an open community event with Ushahidi at the iHub Nairobi (as well as in London) on 7th November, which will be a good opportunity to learn more about using FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi together. You can learn more about this here, and sign up if you'd like to attend here.
Hope this information is helpful! Please do keep us posted as your plans on this develop. \o/
All the Best,
Hi Florence , thanks for starting the discussion. It is indeed a fact that we are domesticating the FrontlineSMS concept and also integrating it with Platform for Crisis Mapping. Actually, the concept is almost similar to that of Burundi except for in few elements. In addition to using FrontlineSMS for gathering information (early warning and crises) on 2012 Kenya's electoral process, we are putting together violence preventive and response activities using the same technology. The argument is that, we as the peace practitioners, are doing very well in Conflict Early Warning with very least in Early Response. There's a great gap between timely warning or i formation with response or dissemination respectively.
Kenya will be going to elections most probably in December 2012. Till then,our project aims at enhancing participation of community in all electoral processes. This include (voter registration, voter education, electoral information dissemination, data gathering and even response in times of crises. The idea is to use the FrontlineSMS to initiate two way communication, education and sharing between the communities. The project focuses on disseminating right and vital information for the citizens e.g. The Constitutional Provisions that supports citizens rights and responsibilities especially in regard to elections, various bills and legislation...
Well, this is a Pilot Project and already we have 47 Civil Society Organizations ( we plan to work with at least 100) in Nyanza Province, Kenya, which are ready to carry the process forward under Nyanza Partners for Peace Alliance, a network of peace organizations formed from Partnership for Peace Project, a Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and EU funded project being implemented in Nyanza, Western and Rift Valley Provinces in Kenya.
Nyanza Province is the second worst hit province by the 2007-08 Post Election Violence.
The project is ending this year and we are now looking for new partners ( locally and internationally) who will work with us on this noble idea for the next 13 months starting January 2012 to January 2013. Since we have adequate knowledge and expertise in FrontlineSMS application and Crowdmap/Ushaidi, all need is a coordination office and resources for capacity building of the reporters/monitors, communication and coordination. We wlecome individual and organizational partners who can share technological, human and material resources.
Please get in touch with me. I'd like to meet with you to discuss a possible collaboration between your project and mine: www.networkednews.org. I have six journalists who are looking to connect with interesting projects like the Nyanza Crowdmap. email@example.com Cheers, Nick
If you look at http://www.uchaguzi.co.ke/ this website was created for the referendem 2010 and a similar instance was used for the elections in Tanzania. It is slightly adepted ushahidi for election monitoring but using FrontlineSMS and still hosted by Ushahidi but implemeted by Sodnet together with the Election Watch programme of Hivos in Nairobi. We are all ready for the kenyan elections!
I know about Uchaguzi quite well. I remember i was with Uchaguzi representative during the National Forum for Conflict Early Warners in Nairobi. We have also shared some information with Sanne (Hivos) and you are doing a great work.
The little difference we have is on approach and response linkage to information gathered. We focus on local community participation and lateral communication. We are linking our project with Response activities like humanitarian and embedding part of our work on prevention.
I suppose we can work on whatever we can together and compliment each other. Already we have established network and you have resources. Effective networking will do us more good. What do you think ?
Hi Joseph, Hi Hapee,
Thanks so much for sharing this information! I do think there is great value in being aware of the different organisations monitoring Kenyan elections in 2012, and connecting with each other too.
I have just met with David Zarembka of the African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI), and they are also planning to use FrontlineSMS for monitoring one region of Kenyan during 2012 elections. AGLI previously used FrontlineSMS to monitor Burundi's elections in 2010, which you can read more about here, and they will be running a similar system of training citizen reporters for Kenya in 2012.
I mentioned this forum discussion to Dave and have invited him to join. He was already aware of https://nyanza.crowdmap.com, and he was enthusiastic about getting to know more about http://www.uchaguzi.co.ke/ too.
Dave and I discussed the potential of having a Skype call and / or a meet up in Kenya between all those planning to use FrontlineSMS for Kenyan election monitoring, so do let me know if you would like to join in if we arrange this and I will keep you all posted on plans.
Please feel free to continue sharing in the meantime! \o/
All the Best,
Sure Florence. it would be nice to skype share. Just let us know when. Thanks. By the way, i got AGLI, Dave's Burundi Project and it made bigger part of our Nyanza Election Monitoring Concept. We still hope to learn from them more and even participate within some of there programs. They have a project in some part of Western Province and will ask them for partnership. We'll be waiting.
Thanks for your reply! Dave mentioned you would be speaking to each other soon too, which is great to hear. I will be sure to keep you posted if we arrange a wider community discussion on this aswell.
Dear Flo, for me it would make sense to add Sanne van de Berg our election watch Programme Officer based in Nairobi in the skype call or somebody from Uchaguzi or Sodnet, like Kipp or Philip and I know for example Rachel Wambui Kung'u through the website www.peace-caravan.org also worked with Ushahidi and I expect Frontline SMS. It sound like they do a similar approach than you do, Joseph.
We have a community approach and local response mechanisms element though which make this a little different.
Thanks for your message! It would be great to get all those mentioned involved in a Skype call about this. I am thinking that January of next year would be a good time for this kind of call, but you/ Joseph/ others can feel free to let me know if it should be sooner or later than this. I will continue to keep in touch on this as plans for the call come together.
Also, Hapee the peace-caravan link you have provided above does not seem to link to a live website. Is this just me? Do you have an alternative link for them for more info?
Many thanks for your interest, and I look forward to continuing this discussion!
Hi Joseph, Happee, all,
Following on from our previous discussions here would you like to arrange a time to have a Skype discussion about FrontlineSMS use in the Kenyan elections? Would next Tuesday 7th February at 3pm EAT/ 12pm GMT be a good time to connect over Skype? If this time doesn't suit then please feel free to suggest an alternative.
If anyone else would like to join this call to discuss FrontlineSMS use in the Kenyan elections please let us know.