Ushahidi Liberia work has been nationally considered a new approach to data gathering, data curation, and a unique way forward for information sharing in Liberia. Covering the national elections using mapping technology has given the rest of the world a real-time glance at what was unfolding in Liberia, from the voter registration process to the presidential run-off election. This post will explain how the elections map was customized to suit Liberia’s needs, and how information was shared using the map particularly during critical times like elections day and the run-off.
The election map, called Liberia 2011 (liberia2011.ushahidi.com), is a one-stop shop in terms of reports, results and all related information
concerning the elections. All reports and results are visualized using maps that show where events occurred, as well as voting precincts, polling places, results per county, and candidates per county and districts. Different types of maps were used to display the different kinds of data that were gathered. Read the rest of this entry
development actors tracking conflict, peacebuilding and the 2011 electoral processin Liberia, I served as an International Observer where I along with my co-worker John Etherton were able to visit many Voting Precincts within Monrovia.
Our observation covers not only voting places, but Communities, Streets, Market grounds asking questions relatively to everyone we came in contact with as to whether they have voted, how was the voting process if at all they voted, if not, why they haven’t voted and when are they planning to go voting, and how do they viewed the entire process.
Personally at a particular Precinct, I was able to help a blind man to the front of the queue and drawing the attention of the Polling Officer to help him out. I stayed at the Polling place until he completed his process. Other then this instance, all other Precincts
observed that disable people and pregnant women were brought at the front of the queue.
The streets were very calm with absolutely no traffic jam, shops offices, business areas all closed with the exception of few security guards on duties at banks, and major installations.
Serving as Director of IT atUshahidi Liberia and iLab Liberia which is currently used as Data Center by the Ecc and other International Observers and organizations, I was able to get reports of critical incidents, election day general reports from all over the country where monitors and obervers,CSOs and other partners were messaging happenings in those areas through SMS using our SMSsync software and the FrontlineSMS as well as direct calls for the ECC data Center. Of all the reports reaching our hub, none was critical
to the process.
During the course of the day, I had an interview with Dayo Olopade – a Nigerian-American journalist and a Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation. She is working on a book about technology, creativity and development in Africa. Her desire to feature ilab Liberia in her book and my interest to see iLab Liberia mission and objective being spread world-wide drove me into an interview with her which was awesome.
It is quarter to sixteen hours – the Election process is still in progress – still observing, still hoping it remains calm as it started!!