An election monitoring SMS template

I was speaking with David Kobia from Ushahidi today and remembered that my post on election monitoring in Sri Lanka (Election monitoring using new media: Notes from my experience in Sri Lanka) had forgotten to mention the SMS template that I had developed for election monitoring in Sri Lanka.

The template can be seen here.

It only works if the election monitoring agency (I work with the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence) has a robust and well defined set of categories the monitoring is anchored to, and trained election monitors who are well versed in this framework. In other words, this is not a template designed for, or will work in a context that untrained citizens report in election violations via SMS.

The template can easily be adapted to a range of contexts, and is Twitter friendly as well. One can also envisage other uses for such a template, such as monitoring human rights violations or the delivery of aid to IDP camps.

I developed this two years ago, in 2008, when Sri Lanka was still at war. Vast swathes of the country’s north and east were very badly connected, and so mobiles didn’t really work for election monitoring at the time. This is changing rapidly post-war, and I’m looking forward to working with CMEV in the future to develop this template further and design more robust backend, SMS / mobile based frameworks for election monitoring.

6 comments on “An election monitoring SMS template

  1. Yasir Elsadig
    March 12, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    We are working in the observation mission in Sudan Election 2010, we need to use ICT for this mission. Some Egyptian guys told us that they can train us on a system that has been implemented twice. I need to know if we can get use of your experience, and on what bases.
    I will give you all required info after you rely this message using my email ASAP because elections are at doors.
    Yasir M. Elsadig
    National Civic Forum
    Note: We are building our site and we can send it to you.

  2. David Kobia
    March 13, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    Sanjana – thanks again for sharing this template. It’ll come in pretty handy, not just with SMS but twitter too!

    • Sanjana Hattotuwa
      March 13, 2010 at 7:08 am #

      At the time I designed this, Twitter was not even on the map of online tools for election monitoring!


  1. Election monitoring using new media: Notes from my experience in Sri Lanka « ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace) - March 10, 2010

    […] An election monitoring SMS template […]

  2. CMEV’s election monitoring featured on Technology for Transparency Network « ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace) - April 1, 2010

    […] monitoring using new media: Notes from my experience in Sri Lanka) and the publication of an election monitoring SMS template we had […]

  3. Meeting Ushahidi’s Juliana Rotich « ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace) - May 15, 2010

    […] than the voices usually associated with marketing Ushahidi’s work, those like Juliana and David Kobia, who I met earlier this year in New York, are the real stars of the platform. Revealingly, they […]

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