New uses of open data for Kenyan elections

Four new platforms have been launched as Kenya’s general election approaches, drawing content from the government’s Open Data initiative.

The project, which is piloted by Code4Kenya organisation, has unveiled four portals including Nation Media, Standard Group Media, The Star Newspaper and Twaweza portal. Each portal will handle a different subject matter, fed directly by government data and statistics from the Open Data programme.

The four portals use data from the government and relay it in a manner that can be easily understood by laymen, making people to search and use data in a comprehensive manner.

One of the portals by Nation Media is Elections Kenya, which gives information on voters across the country in a format of a map. The portal also streams social media sentiments on various aspirants who are vying for the top seat.

According to Code4Kenya, the Nation Media portal will deal with politics, the Standard portal will tackle crime trends, the Star newspaper portal will undertake education studies and the portal by Twaweza will deal with health statistics.

The numbers and results from the different portals will set an agenda for the country as it faces the March 4 general election.

The Information and Communication Ministry’s permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo said universities, hospitals and other Kenyan institutions sitting on large data sets can release them for public use.

He further revealed government plans to recruit data scientists to help in the interpretation of the data for use by the public.

Code4Kenya is a flagship programme funded by the World Bank’s Innovation Fund and Governance Partnership Facility with the Africa Media Initiative. The programme aims to make big data relevant to the masses.

Posted in: Internet

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