Inspiration for East African elections

10 tactics received great praise last week when it was screened in Nairobi, Kenya to more than 20 East African organisations working on election monitoring and civic participation. The film was screened at the 'East Africa Election Monitoring Platform' event, organised by Hivos, which took place on the 3rd and 4th March. The objective of the meeting was to bring partners and interested parties together around the theme of upcoming elections in East Africa so they could map out common interests and concerns and begin a process of collaboration and knowledge sharing. Tanya Notley, from Tactical Tech, attended the event and introduced the 10 tactics film.

Most of the participants at the event said they were looking for ways to use ICTs to support their work and 10 tactics provided them with new ideas. After the 10 tactics screening Harold Sungusia, from the Legal and Human Rights Centre in Tanzania, felt that the film provided him with both inspiration and practical advice: “We have been hearing for some time that information is power but for me 10 tactics is a real illustration of just how powerful it can be.“

For Harold, the Targuist Sniper example (featured in Tactic 2), which captured Moroccan police corruption on video, was a highlight. “We have many such examples of police corruption in Tanzania,” he said, “So it was good to see in this story how involving people in capturing these kinds of abuses of power can lead to change.”

John Silo from Rwenzori Information Centres Network (RIC-NET), Uganda, said that the examples in the film of electoral roll checking by Kubutana in Zimbabwe and of budget tracking by Sodnet in Kenya (featured in Tactic 9) would be very useful to his work: “The film in fact has directed me toward the solutions I have been looking for to support our work on democratic participation. The Kubutana and Sodnet examples will now help me sensitise and inspire my colleagues.”

Julius Mwanga, also from Uganda, works at the Kabarole Research and Resource Centre, which is working to support evidence based research and budget monitoring. He felt the film provided him with many new ideas for both the collection and dissemination of information: “I will use the stories to develop new approaches for budget monitoring and to identify new ways to make the information we collect more accessible to the public.”

Some of the participants are now planning to host screenings in Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Tanzania. 

Kenya image

Image from left to right: John Silco, Harold Sungusia, Julius Mwanga and Ezekiel Massanga

If you would like to contribute your ideas for how ICTs can be contribute to election monitoring processes visit the Ushahidi blog