By Lou Del Bello
[Republished under a Creative Commons license from SciDev.Net.]
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“In every young democracy there is always a chance for violence whenever you have the potential for a change of power,” says Jonathon Morgan, a technology lead at the crisis branch of Ushahidi, a data mapping organisation that has been working in Nigeria to keep track of unrest and help predict outbreaks of violence in the run up, during and immediately after the elections held this weekend.
In partnership with the NGO Stakeholder Democracy Network, Ushahidi runs ReclaimNaija, an online dashboard that filters and organises reports of violence, bribery, electoral fraud and lack of security across Nigeria. Users can communicate with the team through social media, but also via text message and by phoning directly. These reports are then validated and uploaded onto an interactive map. The developers hope to do as much as possible to predict violence, thus protecting citizens’ right to vote.