Our proposal seeks to upscale our current solution to a one-stop web portal to comprehensively bridge the information gap between prospective voters, candidates and Kenya’s electoral system. Our primary intent is to scale up our existing initiative debeunKEd, a technology-driven, community-centred fact-checking programme designed and implemented by the Demography Project. The inclusion of an information portal will enhance the quality of our fact-checking work and will adapt grassroot voter education and citizen journalism to provide quality electoral civil intelligence for informed decision making.
The assignment will utilize The Demography Project staff, trained on fact-checking, to conduct online research into potential electoral misinformation content posted on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms;
The scope of our proposed solution contends that our target groups include eligible voters of Kenya who are keen on understanding the political landscape of the country in the lead up to the election. We especially target diaspora voters who constitute a hitherto disenfranchised group due to their geographic isolation from Kenya,
Multimedia content will be posted primarily on the organization’s TikTok account as the primary delivery device; its Twitter and Facebook accounts will be the secondary delivery devices and act as a fail-safe for the content generated;
Problem to be Addressed
The problem we would like to address is Kenya’s vibrant political scene. As counterintuitive as it sounds, the combination of the country’s maturing democracy and active internet landscape has created a perfect storm for sowing seeds for political discord before and after elections. This has been witnessed during the disputed 2007 Presidential Election, the hotly contested elections in 2013 and 2017 and is expected to take place in 2022.
However, despite Kenya’s rising internet penetration rate, there exists a gap in citizen engagement on three major thematic areas for the most highly contested elective positions (Presidency and Gubernatorial elective seats): a comprehensive election campaign tracking tool; a comprehensive campaign and manifesto tracker; and an electoral calendar tool. In addition, media organizations have been reported to bias in electoral coverage thus creating few alternatives for voters to get independent, verified information on electoral processes. These gaps have created a glaring opportunity for political actors to violate various electoral laws including lack of media bias in election news coverage, misuse of public resources and lack of adherence to the gazetted electoral calendar.
Premised on the above, our proposed solution is named Mchaguzi. This is a comprehensive web-based electoral citizen intelligence civic-tech initiative developed by The Demography Project towards enhancing electoral civic engagement before and after the 2022 General Election in Kenya. It will serve as a one-stop web portal for a four-pronged approach towards enhancing: voter education, citizen journalism, campaign mapping tool, electoral violence mapper for the 7 most vulnerable Counties and a manifesto tracker.
The platform will be targeted at all categories of voters and political actors in Kenya, but will particularly target diaspora voters, persons with disabilities and first-time voters, mainly youth aged below 25 years.