Open Election Data Platform Launches at the Independent Media Commission in Sierra Leone

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In a project labeled “Sierra Leone Open Election Data Platform (SLOEDP),” Sierra Leonean owned LAM-TECH has donated a platform to report on the national elections slated for March 7, 2018.  See SLOEDP is an open source platform to facilitate free, fair, safe, secure and transparent elections.

The platform enables data collection, data aggregation, data visualization, and data sharing of election results, candidate profiles, boundary delimitations, polling stations, voter registration centers, political party information, electoral news articles, electoral education materials and electoral violence incident reports. All in accordance with global open election data principles. The platform’s sub-system Electoral Violence Monitoring, Education and Reporting (EVMER) is a crowdsourcing application that enables thousands of users across the country to send location-based electoral violence incident reports via SMS, Twitter, Facebook, email, mobile app and web application.

LAM-TECH Foundation, a subsidiary of LAM-TECH Consulting, is a nonprofit organization committed to collaborating with relevant bodies to enhance election reporting in 2018.  Since their arrival in Freetown on January 14, 2018, the CEO has been making headway presenting the platform at various entities that have a role in the forthcoming elections. Today the Independent Media Commission of Sierra Leone adopted the platform at a press conference they hosted for journalists and the organization also requests that their monitors be trained on how to use it as it will be useful to them during the election period

The platform on one hand hosts data that include election results for 1996, 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2018.  And on the other, serves as an election monitoring tool where incidents of violence can be reported.  Through collaboration with the Women Situation Room (WSR) Sierra Leone in the management of violence reporting, they ascertain only valid incidents are reported.

To date, collaborating partners include the Women’s Situation Room (WSR) Sierra Leone - a women’s peacebuilding mechanism to mitigate conflict, during and after elections in African countries, the National Election Watch (NEW) - a consortium of civil society organizations, the Independent Media Commission (IMC), the Right to Access Information Commission (RAIC), the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), Sierra Leone Research and Education Network (SLREN) and a slew of top-notch journalists that are here today, and ordinary citizens as volunteer groups such as students from Njala University and IPAM.  Any organization that publish information on the elections are beneficiaries of the tool.

Following the launch of this product with a live demonstration by the chief architect, who doubles in as the CEO of LAM-TECH, the foundation has plans to host a training session with about one hundred women who are going to be monitoring and reporting on election violence, particularly as it relates to women.  Series of data jams will be organized around the country to populate the platform with historic election results, polling stations and candidate profiles for March 2018 elections. The platform is unprecedented here and the foundation hopes it will help spur the open ‘data revolution’ to life for a country who has shown willingness to open up government to her citizens. But has not really achieved practical results

Demonstrating part of the foundation’s overall vision to help underserve students accomplish their ICT dreams, they recently hosted a student-driven Open Election Data Jam session at Njala University where student volunteers were exposed to and trained on the platform.  A show of citizen-generated data for reuse.

LAM-TECH Foundation is dedicated to helping underserved students, teachers and communities engage and promote ICT in Sierra Leone.  It is the charitable arm of LAM-TECH Consulting Enterprise, a company that helps organizations with electoral violence and education reporting systems, websites, web applications, mobile apps, windows based software applications, intranet sites, digital platforms, and social media platforms.  Creating innovative digital solutions is part of the company’s forte and they have done that well in the past for large organizations like the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and The World Bank.

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