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Supporting Election Monitoring Innovation in the Middle East and North Africa Retour vers les projets


Durée du projet: 4 an(s) 3 mois

Jul 2014 Mar 2010

Budget du projet:

2 Dollar US ($)

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Les organismes impliqués dans ce projet:
MEPI / MEPI / I WATCH / MRKB

Plus de détails

To support free, open, and fair elections in the Middle East and North Africa, Democracy International (DI)—with funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)—is partnering with organizations in the region to develop, test, and support the adoption of new approaches to domestic election monitoring. DI’s three-year, $2.25 million project aims to improve the capacity of civil society organizations and citizens throughout the region to participate in their elections.

In particular, DI is working to improve the quality of domestic election monitoring in the region by developing new techniques and technologies for election oversight, increasing opportunities for informal civil society groups to participate, and building regional capacity and networks for testing, developing, and sharing new approaches and techniques in the region. To pursue these objectives, DI has supported several pilot projects featuring innovative approaches and tools for election observation groups and citizens. DI also developed the “FW: Network,” a web-based platform to bring together election experts, civic activists, technologists, academics, and citizens around the common goal of safeguarding elections.

Currently, DI is offering technical support and guidance as well as funding to pilot projects that can lower costs and other barriers to participating in the election observation process. DI launched its second round of pilot projects in late summer 2014 focused on the parliamentary and presidential elections in Tunisia. DI funded a domestic election observation mission for the three rounds of voting in fall 2014 organized by I Watch, a Tunisian watchdog group, in collaboration with Ona Systems, a Kenyan technology firm. The two organizations developed online tools to recruit and train observers and collect their observations on election days. I Watch successfully registered, trained and accredited 1,215 Tunisians from all 27 electoral jurisdictions to serve as observers for the 2014 parliamentary and presidential election cycle for a fraction of the cost of traditional approaches while giving interested citizens—many of whom were outside of I Watch’s existing networks—a new way to participate in the oversight of their elections.

DI also funded a social media monitoring project managed by Mourakiboun, a Tunisian monitoring organization, and Innova, a Tunisian technology start-up. Mourakiboun used Innova’s WebRadar tool to observe how the elections were discussed on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Mourakiboun shared its observations through online presentations and press conferences after the two rounds of presidential elections. In December 2014, DI launched a new project with Mourakiboun to convert polling station results forms from the 2014 elections from PDF or image files into raw data that can be used for analysis and visualizations. This data include turnout numbers and elections results for each polling station in Tunisia. DI plans to use these data to update the Tunisia Election Data website and to make the data publicly available to all electoral stakeholders.

Since 2012, DI has conducted a range of pilot programs focused on electoral education and issue-based advocacy in Lebanon and Tunisia after both countries postponed anticipated elections. In 2013, DI supported the Lebanon Election Data platform developed in partnership with Lebanese organizations Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE) and Lamba Labs, the Tunisian Election Data platform created in partnership with Tunisian partner Mourakiboun and tech firm Development Seed (DevSeed), and the Nouwweb platform developed in partnership with Lebanese-based Social Media Exchange (SMEX) and Lamba Labs. In addition, DI also supported the customization of the Completure smart phone application with tech firm Sign.al.

When the MENA project began in late 2012, DI began development of the FW: Network platform. The FW: Network aims to provide an opportunity for activists to learn new approaches for promoting credible and transparent elections, to build tools and develop technologies that enhance electoral oversight, and to share techniques on how to improve citizen participation around elections. The FW: Network website was launched in January 2013. DI publishes findings from pilot tests, as well as original research in Arabic, French, and English on other innovative approaches and tools that can be used in election observation. To receive updates or contribute content to the FW: Network, please visit www.fwelections.com.

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