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Ushahidi chatbot will help monitor Kenya elections



Ushahidi, originally used to monitor the 2008 Kenya election violence, has now integrated with Facebook Messenger to expand the reach of the Uchaguzi 2017 Kenyan election monitoring platform. This will allow Kenyan citizens to report on issues during the voting process.

The Uchaguzi partnership, which includes The Constitution & Reform Education Consortium (CRECO) and InfoNET, monitored the 2010 referendum and the 2013 election. It uses the Ushahidi platform to allow citizens and election monitors to report from the ground via many channels such as email, SMS, twitter and embeddable web forms. For the Kenyan 2017 elections, Ushahidi has announced that Facebook Messenger is the newest data source available in the Uchaguzi deployment of Ushahidi.

Integrating this Facebook Messenger chatbot will improve the user experience, and extend the reach of the platform, to the more than 5.5 million active Facebook users in Kenyan, allowing them to report on issues during the voting process.

Citizens can report on a successful vote as well a issues such as voter suppression, ballot issues, or violence via the Facebook Messenger chatbot. The chatbot makes it easy for citizens to answer the multiple questions in a report through the automated dialogue with the Messenger chatbot. Importantly, the chatbot includes the ability to easily send and receive text and images and interaction with structured messages.

On election day, trained observers, volunteers and witnesses will report to Uchaguzi any electoral related incidences through these digital channels, such as Facebook Messenger. These reports are then received by the hundreds of volunteers who will structure, geo-reference, and verify them. The reports are then visualized and made public on a map, timeline, and stats board at Further they are shared with appropriate officials for organizations to respond when necessary. Citizens can sign up to receive alerts based on location, keyword, and timeframe at Uchaguzi. The result of this partnership is that electoral and response organisations have a new channel to monitor electoral incidences; and citizens have an easy to use tool to capture and report critical information during the August 8th elections.

Through this platform Ushahidi intends to help Kenya have a free, fair, peaceful and credible 2017 general election by increasing transparency and accountability through active citizen participation in the electoral cycle.

To report via the Uchaguzi Facebook Bot:

•Open Facebook Messenger

•Search @uchaguzi2017kenya

•Get started/send report

•Add/confirm location

•Add/Upload Image