In March, TMG observers across Nigeria tested systems that were used on election day to independently verify election results. Using coded text messages, the observers sent massive amounts of data to a national information center for analysis. Credit: TMG-Nigeria
Nigerians went to the polls last month to choose their next president. The outcome was a largely peaceful transition of power between the ruling and opposition parties, and technology played a key role.
NDItech, NDI’s Technology Programs team, sat down via Google Hangouts with NDI’s Asja Kratovic, resident program officer in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), to discuss the recently released Imate Rijec website. The site brings together the voices of politicians and citizens on some of Bosnia’s most pressing social and political issues.
As part of the celebration of International Women’s Day 2015, NDI’s Political Parties and Gender, Women and Democracy teams held a crowdsourcing and networking event on Twitter called a “TweetTalk” to share ideas, best practices and lessons learned when helping to engage more women in political parties.
DemTools are a set of open-source solutions developed by NDI’s Technology for Democracy team (NDItech) to address some of democracy’s most common problems. The tools, which were released in August to NDI partners, the development community and general public, focus on scalability – providing advanced technologies to make their work more effective, while reducing maintenance and sustainability burdens. NDI recently received a renewed National Endowment for Democracy grant for the continued development and expansion of DemTools. In deciding where and how to allocate these funds, we reviewed current features and updated our roadmap for product development and version release timelines. We determined that better support, enhanced multilingual capacity and increased usability were priorities across all of the tools.
On Feb. 10, I took part in a three-day Facebook #YALICHAT with young African leaders – President Obama’s signature effort to invest in the next generation of African entrepreneurs, educators, activists and innovators. After introducing myself and my work in a blog post, I took questions and comments from the YALI Network centered on the role of technology in democracy. Topics included: bridging gaps between youth and politicians online; how technology can improve transparency and government accountability; taking political action; online security; election monitoring; and using technology to empower people to become more involved in politics.
Over the last few weeks in Nigeria, I had the opportunity to conduct capacity-building training sessions almost every day. While many of these sessions were enthusiastically received, discussions on digital security fell on deaf ears.