Ushahidi Comes to India for the Elections (Updated)

I’m very please to announce that the Ushahidi platform has been deployed at VoteReport.in to crowdsource the monitoring of India’s upcoming elections. The roll out followed our preferred model: an amazing group of Indian partners took the initiative to drive the project forward and are doing a superb job. I’m learning a lot from their strategic thinking.

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We’re also excited about developing Swift River as part of VoteReport India to apply a crowdsourcing approach to filter the incoming information for accuracy. This is of course all experimental and we’ll be learning a lot in the process. For a visual introduction to Swift River, please see Erik Hersman’s recent video documentary on our conversations on Swift River, which we had a few weeks ago in Orlando.

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As per our latest Ushahidi deployments, VoteReport users can report on the Indian elections by email, SMS, Tweet or by submitting an incident directly online at VoteReport. Users can also subscribe to email alerts—a functionality I’m particularly excited about as this closes the crowdsourcing to crowdfeeding feedback loop; so I’m hoping we can also add SMS alerts, funding permitted. For more on crowdfeeding, please see my previous post on “Ushahidi: From Crowdsourcing to Crowdfeeding.

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You can read more about the project here and about the core team here. It really is an honor to be a part of this amazing group. We also have an official VoteReport blog here. I also highly recommend reading Gaurav Mishra‘s blog post on VoteReport here and Ushahidi’s here.

Next Steps

  • We’re thinking of using a different color to depict “All Categories” since red has cognitive connotations of violence and we don’t want this to be the first impression given by the map.
  • I’m hoping we can add a “download feature” that will allow users to directly download the VoteReport data as a CSV file and as a KML Google Earth Layer. The latter will allow users to dynamically visualize VoteReports over space and time just like [I did here] with the Ushahidi data during the Kenyan elections.
  • We’re also hoping to add a feature that asks those submitting incidents to check-off that the information they submit is true. The motivation behind this is inspired from recent lessons learned in behavioral economics as explained in my blog post on “Crowdsourcing Honesty.

Patrick Philippe Meier

7 responses to “Ushahidi Comes to India for the Elections (Updated)

  1. What a waste of time and effort when there is already a fraud-proof voting system which uses mobile phone, sms and one-time-pad sealed bankers-type envelops for parliamentary and presidential elections in the Third World. Mr Alex Weir, Gaborone and Harare

    • Dear Mr. Weir, thanks very much for your note. The last thing we want to do is waste time and resources, so I really hope you can write a bit more and point us to where we can get access to the resources you mention.

      With best wishes,
      Patrick

  2. patrick – 2 days passed and no response?… alex weir

    • Dear Mr. Weir, I’ve been traveling along the Sudanese-Eritrean border with limited Internet access. I appreciate you getting in touch and deriding VoteReport as a complete waste of time and effort but I would please ask you for a bit of patience in your end. I am traveling and will not be able to get back to you for the next week or so. Thank you.

  3. no probs patrick. I wait for your response…. alex

  4. Pingback: Alternatives for Reporting | bigpushforward.net

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