Long term monitoring of Philippine elections development.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Noy Watch launched to track election anomalies

Just got a heads-up that Noynoy.ph, the official website of presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino, has launched Noy Watch - an interactive platform to help interested parties track election anomalies as they unfold in and around the Philippines. It is a collaborative citizen-driven monitoring for the Philippine 2010 election. The map is meant to give a general idea of where the incidents are occuring.

It uses the Ushahidi Engine - a platform that allows anyone to gather distributed data via SMS, email or web and visualize it on a map or timeline. The goal of the application is to create the simplest way of aggregating information from the public for use in crisis response.

I first heard about the engine when I saw the above video last year that co-founder Erik Hersman presented. Impressive on how the platform was also used in Vote Report India that not only covers anomalies but also what went well.

What I like (plus) about the Noy Watch effort are as follows:

  • Allow supporters to have a control center for reporting anomalies found in the elections during the campaign period, election day, and vote counting.
  • Creates a spirit of transparency and watchfulness as supporters are empowered with this platform.
What I find to be challenging (minus) are:
  • The non-verified reports not having the appropriate legend. I think it should have a category of its own. Otherwise, the initiative can be accused of rumor mongering if it won't have proper classification for unverified reports.
  • Who will perform the verification? What is the standard process of verification?
What I find to be interesting are:
  • If the site will receive a report citing a Noynoy camp anomaly, will it be published?
  • If site can also be used to reflect election precints in the country where supporters lodge their observations or findings directly.
I'm sure that there will be more efforts like this in the future. Moreso 3rd party similar sites, perhaps own by a news or monitoring network, to encourage reporting from everyone interested about the elections.

(P.S. If you have time, I hope you can join the Map Your Election Precint Contest)

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