Last updated

TypeCommunity Initiative
Region served
Nairobi, Kenya
Ushahidi, Hivos INFONET
Website Uchaguzi Website

Uchaguzi is a joint initiative spearheaded by Ushahidi in 2010 to monitor the Kenyan constitutional referendum. Ushahidi collaborated with the Hivos Foundation, the Constitution and Reform Education Consortium (CRECO), INFONET, and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to develop an ICT platform, which enables citizens, the civil society, election observers, law enforcement agencies and humanitarian response agencies to monitor election incidents of significance using any technology at their disposal.


The initiative has since successfully been implemented in the 2010 Tanzanian general elections, the 2011 Zambian general elections and in the 2013 Kenyan general elections.


In 2010, Ushahidi collaborated with the Hivos Foundation, the Constitution & Reform Education Consortium (CRECO), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and SODNET to create the Uchaguzi-Kenya election incidence reporting platform that is closely based on the Ushahidi crowd sourcing software.

One of the resolutions of the meeting was that a programme entitled "Election Watch for East Africa 2010 – 2013" be developed. The Constitutional Referendum in Kenya was seen as a pre-test of the tools and methods to be used in monitoring the upcoming electoral processes in the East African region (Tanzania – October 2010, Uganda – March 2011 and Kenya - March 2013).

The platform of Uchaguzi was thus established, a short code was sourced and popularized throughout the country, and 550 observers were trained and deployed in identified constituencies. The result was a momentous data and information flow which instantaneously portrayed the state of Kenya before during and after the referendum. [1]

2013 Kenyan General Elections

Uchaguzi aims to help Kenyans have a free, fair, peaceful and credible general election. Its key strategy is to increase the transparency and accountability of the electoral process through active citizen participation in the electoral cycles. Uchaguzi's strategy revolves around connecting civil society and citizen information to respond to electoral issues rapidly.

Through its reporting platform, Uchaguzi enables unprecedented collaboration between the Kenyan citizenry, election observers, humanitarian response agencies, the civil society, community-based organisations, law enforcement agencies and digital humanitarians to monitor the 2013 general elections in near real-time.

Uchaguzi went live on 2 March 2013 in readiness for the 4 March General election. The key components were:

Data: the main focus of Uchaguzi and the source of most of the reports is ordinary citizen. We want people to send us any information on the election/electoral process that they feel is significant Verification: the process through which Uchaguzi evaluates information and determines how credible it is Response: Amplifying verified information to organisations and individuals who can intervene positively and monitoring that response to measure its effectiveness.

Related Research Articles

Politics of Kenya Political system of Kenya

The politics of Kenya take place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Kenya is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system in accordance with a new constitution passed in 2010.

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe security-oriented intergovernmental organization

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, promotion of human rights, freedom of the press, and fair elections. It employs around 3,460 people, mostly in its field operations but also in its secretariat in Vienna, Austria and its institutions. It has its origins in the 1975 Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) held in Helsinki, Finland.

Initiative Means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote

In political science, an initiative is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a government to choose to either enact a law or hold a public vote in parliament in what is called indirect initiative, or under direct initiative, the proposition is immediately put to a plebiscite or referendum, in what is called a Popular initiated Referendum or citizen-initiated referendum.

In the politics of the United States, the process of initiatives and referendums allow citizens of many U.S. states to place new legislation on a popular ballot, or to place legislation that has recently been passed by a legislature on a ballot for a popular vote. Initiatives and referendums, along with recall elections and popular primary elections, are signature reforms of the Progressive Era; they are written into several state constitutions, particularly in the West.

2005 British Columbia electoral reform referendum

A referendum was held in the Canadian province of British Columbia on May 17, 2005, to determine whether or not to adopt the recommendation of the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform to replace the existing first-past-the-post electoral system (FPTP) with a single transferable vote system (BC-STV). It was held in conjunction with the BC Legislative Assembly election of 2005. Voters were given two ballots at that time: a ballot to vote for a Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia (MLA) in their constituency and a referendum ballot. The referendum received considerable support from the electorate but failed in meeting the demanding threshold that had been set. A second referendum was held in 2009.

Elections in Iraq gives information on election and election results in Iraq.

Election monitoring is the observation of an election by one or more independent parties, typically from another country or a non-governmental organization (NGO), primarily to assess the conduct of an election process on the basis of national legislation and international election standards. There are national and international election observers. Monitors do not directly prevent electoral fraud, but rather record and report such instances. Election observation increasingly looks at the entire electoral process over a longer period of time, rather than at election-day proceedings only. The legitimacy of an election can be affected by the criticism of monitors, provided that they are themselves seen as unbiased. A notable individual is often appointed honorary leader of a monitoring organization in an effort to enhance its own legitimacy.

The electoral roll is a list of persons who are eligible to vote in a particular electoral district and who are registered to vote, if required in a particular jurisdiction. An electoral roll has a number of functions, especially to streamline voting on election day. Voter registration is also used to combat electoral fraud by enabling authorities to verify an applicant's identity and entitlement to a vote, and to ensure a person doesn't vote multiple times. In jurisdictions where voting is compulsory, the electoral roll is used to indicate who has failed to vote. Most jurisdictions maintain permanent electoral rolls while some jurisdictions compile new electoral rolls before each election. In some jurisdictions, people to be selected for jury or other civil duties are chosen from an electoral roll.

Referendums in New Zealand

Referendums are held only occasionally by the Government of New Zealand. Referendums may be government-initiated or held in accordance with the Electoral Act 1993 or the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993. Ten referendums have been held so far. Seven were government-led, and three were indicative citizen initiatives.

Ushahidi, Inc. is a non-profit technology company with staff in nine countries whose mission is to help marginalized people raise their voice and those who serve them to listen and respond better. It has been instrumental in creating the Kenyan tech ecosystem, known as the Silicon Savannah, and its employees have gone on to found iHub, Akirachix, and BRCK.

Electoral reform is change in electoral systems to improve how public desires are expressed in election results. That can include reforms of:

The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa, or EISA, is an organization founded in 1996 in Johannesburg to "promote credible elections, participatory democracy, human rights culture and the strengthening of governance institutions for the consolidation of democracy in Africa."

Ory Okolloh Kenyan activist, lawyer, and blogger

Ory Okolloh is a Kenyan activist, lawyer, and blogger. She is Director of Investments at Omidyar Network. She was formerly the Policy Manager for Africa with Google.

2010 Moldovan constitutional referendum

The Moldovan referendum of 2010 was a nationwide referendum in Moldova held on 5 September on whether or not the country should amend the Constitution of Moldova to return to direct popular election of the president. Since 2001, the president had been indirectly elected by Parliament, with a supermajority of 61 seats required for election. The voters are asked to answer the following question "Would you agree with the Constitutional amendment, which would allow the election of the President of the Republic of Moldova by the entire population?", voting for one of the proposed options: “Yes (for)” or “No (against)”. Of those who had cast their vote, 87.83% chose "Yes". However, the referendum did not pass because only 30.29% of voters turned out, short of the necessary 33% for the referendum to be considered valid.

2010 Kenyan constitutional referendum

A constitutional referendum was held in Kenya on 4 August 2010. Voters were asked whether they approved of a proposed new constitution, which had been passed by the National Assembly on 1 April 2010. The new constitution was seen as a vital step to avoid a repetition of the violent outbursts after the 2007 general elections.

Constitution of Kenya supreme law of the Republic of Kenya

The Constitution of Kenya is the supreme law of the Republic of Kenya. There have been three significant versions of the constitution, with the most recent redraft being enabled in 2010. The 2010 edition replaced the 1963 independence constitution. The constitution was presented to the Attorney General of Kenya on 7 April 2010, officially published on 6 May 2010, and was subjected to a referendum on 4 August 2010. The new Constitution was approved by 67% of Kenyan voters. The constitution was promulgated on 27 August 2010.

The Sentinel Project for Genocide Prevention is an International Non-Governmental Organisation based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with approximately 60 members in North America. Its mission is "to prevent the crime of genocide worldwide through effective early warning and cooperation with victimized peoples to carry out non-violent prevention initiatives." The Sentinel Project was founded in 2008 by two students, Taneem Talukdar and Christopher Tuckwood, at the University of Waterloo. In 2009, the Sentinel Project's approach was selected as a finalist in Google's 10 to the 100th competition for innovative social application of technology. This organization has been recognized as one of four active anti-genocide organizations based in Canada and is a member of the International Alliance to End Genocide, and the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect.

2013 national electoral calendar Wikimedia list article

This national electoral calendar for the year 2013 lists the national/federal direct elections held in 2013 in all sovereign states and their dependent territories. By-elections are excluded, though national referendums are included.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is an independent regulatory agency that was founded in 2011 by the Constitution of Kenya. The Commission is responsible for conducting or supervising referendum and elections to any elective body or office established by the Constitution, and any other elections as prescribed by an Act of Parliament. It was created in a provision of the 2010 constitution and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act. Its mandate includes; "the continuous registration of voters and revision of the voter’s roll, the delimitation of constituencies and wards, the regulation of political parties process, the settlement of electoral disputes, the registration of candidates for elections, voter education, the facilitation of the observation, monitoring and evaluation of elections,the regulation of money spent by a candidate or party in respect of any election, the development of a code of conduct for candidates and parties, the monitoring of compliance with legislation on nomination of candidates by parties."

Crowdmapping is a subtype of crowdsourcing by which aggregation of crowd-generated inputs such as captured communications and social media feeds are combined with geographic data to create a digital map that is as up-to-date as possible on events such as wars, humanitarian crises, crime, elections, or natural disasters. Such maps are typically created collaboratively by people coming together over the Internet.


[2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

  1. "About Uchaguzi". Constitutional and Reform Educational Consortium. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  2. Ushahidi Blog "What is Uchaguzi?"
  3. White African "Uchaguzi: Full Circle on Kenya's Elections" Published 3 March 2013
  4. Knight Foundation and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative "Uchaguzi a Case Study" Publication 24 October 2012
  5. Bloomberg Businessweek "To Report Election Violence in Kenya Text Ushahidi" Published 3 March 2013
  6. The New York Times "Geeks for Peace" Blog post 28 February 2013
  7. AfriCommons Blog "Kenya's Referendum-Uchaguzi Platform for Citizen Monitoring is Up" Published 29 July 2010

Uchaguzi Article Review