Ushahidi, which was founded out of the Kenyan 2008 post election violence, is today announcing the integration of Facebook Messenger to expand the reach of the Uchaguzi 2017 Kenyan election monitoring platform.

The Uchaguzi partnership, which includes The Constitution & Reform Education Consortium (CRECO) and InfoNET, monitored the 2010 referendum and the 2013 election and uses the Ushahidi platform to allow citizens and election monitors to report from the ground via many channels such as email, SMS, twitter and embeddable web forms.

For the Kenyan 2017 elections, Ushahidi announced on its official blog that Facebook Messenger is the newest Platform available in the Uchaguzi deployment of Ushahidi. “Integrating this bot for Messenger will improve the user experience, and extend the reach of the platform, to the more than 7 million active Facebook users in Kenyan, allowing them to report on issues during the voting process.”

Citizens can report on a successful vote as well a issues such as voter suppression, ballot issues, or violence via the Uchaguzi bot for Messenger. The Messenger bot makes it easy for citizens to answer the multiple questions in a report through the automated dialogue with the bot. Importantly, the bot includes the ability to easily send and receive text and images and interaction with structured messages.

How it will work

On election day, trained observers, volunteers and witnesses will report to Uchaguzi any electoral related incidences through these digital channels, such as Facebook Messenger. These reports are then received by the hundreds of volunteers who will structure, geo-reference, and verify them. The reports are then visualized and made public on a map, timeline, and stats board at Uchaguzi.or.ke. Further they are shared with appropriate officials for organizations to respond when necessary. Citizens can sign up to receive alerts based on location, keyword, and timeframe at Uchaguzi. The result of this partnership is that electoral and response organisations have a new channel to monitor electoral incidences; and citizens have an easy to use tool to capture and report critical information during the August 8th elections.

Through this platform Ushahidi intends to help Kenya have a free, fair, peaceful and credible 2017 general election by increasing transparency and accountability through active citizen participation in the electoral cycle.

Source: Ushahidi Blog