Brainstorming salons with experts, loosely hinging on Horace’s definition of the aims of poetry; “aut delectare aut prodesse est” (either to please or to educate).
Local Intervention Group held an invitation only salon on crowdsourcing for elections on 1st of February 2013 at Summit Hotel in Kathmandu.
LIG is deploying the crowdsourcing technology Ushahidi to prevent election violence and violations in the run up to the election, and monitor them in real time during the election. This technology will track and monitor election violence and violations by gathering data and information from the public and geo-mapping them onto a Google map in real time. It will also be deployed to gather data and information on missed voters, election campaigns, code of conduct violations etc.
The purpose of the salon was to explore ways in which this game changer technology can be deployed in total sync with everyone who has ever worked in elections to make Nepal’s next election comparatively freer, fairer, and more transparent and accountable.
Police can use the real time data to intervene swiftly, politicians can use the system to get updates from their constituencies, election observers can file anonymous reports of election related violations, journalists can get stories from the ground, and most importantly public can have a platform (through a simple text message, or a free phone call) to get involved.
LIG is planning a command centre sort of operation in coordination with Election Commission and Nepal Police in Kathmandu with real-time data feeds from across the country.
Agency heads and key staff from the following organisations attended the salon. LIG is currently designing in detail a co-ordination outline with Election Commission, Nepal Police and select few agencies.
- »Asia Foundation, DanidaHUGOU, Delegation of the European Union, DFID, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, International IDEA, National Democratic Institute, National Election Observation Committee, Swiss Embassy, UNDP, USAID
- »Khimlal Devkota from UCPN Maoists, Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat from Nepali Congress, Pradip Gyawali from UML, and Jitendra Dev from Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Democratic)
- »Joint Secretary from Election Commission, DIGs from Nepal Police & Armed Police Force