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[liberationtech] Citizens' Dashboard for a Participatory Democracy

Yosem Companys companys at stanford.edu
Thu Oct 17 09:07:24 PDT 2013


From: Uday Dandavate <uday at sonicrim.com>

Friends,

Are you interested in helping with co-creating a new model of
technology enabled citizens' participation in democracy for the
forthcoming Parliamentary elections in India?

I am writing this post to invite information or ideas from anyone who
knows or is associated with Ushahidi, a non-profit tech company that
specializes in developing free and open source software for
information collection, visualization and interactive mapping.

"Ushahidi", which means "testimony" in Swahili, was a website that was
initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the
post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Since then, the name
"Ushahidi" has come to represent the people behind the "Ushahidi
Platform". Its roots are in the collaboration of Kenyan citizen
journalists during a time of crisis. The original website was used to
map incidents of violence and peace efforts throughout the country
based on reports submitted via the web and mobile phones. This website
had 45,000 users in Kenya, and was the catalyst for the team realizing
there was a need for a platform based on it, which could be used by
others around the world.

Ushahidi has been used amongst other things for election monitoring in
areas isolated from communication infrastructure to mapping the
activities of community health workers and their mobile clinics, to
speciHic analytical analysis.

I hear a citizen's volunteer group used it to monitor 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

The next several months are going to be very contentious for Indian
democracy. The stakes are going to be high for the two major parties.
A lot of malpractices are very likely to take place. A vigilant
electorate will need technology tools where clandestine malpractices
can be exposed through a network of mobile phones connected to a
citizen's dashboard. Please checkout the web link in this post.

I would appreciate if any of you can point me in the direction of
anyone who is currently associated with the efforts because I am
interested in helping with co-creating a new model of technology
enabled dashboard for citizens' participation in democracy.

http://www.ushahidi.com/about-us

Thanks

Uday



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