The system allows individuals with basic mobile phones to create incident reports and to communicate with the wider public without the need for an internet-enabled phone, thus allowing Al Jazeera to connect with rural communities across the country.
The creators of the system intend Al Jazeera Voices - also known as “Kenya Voices” and “Kenya Speaks” - to provide a solution to connect with Kenyans who do not yet have access to the internet or social media.
“Voices is one solution in bridging the gap between vocal, connected voices whose stories are having an impact on the media through social media and those that still remain relatively unheard because they don't have the same access,” said Cynara Vetch, project manager for Al Jazeera Voices.
The project hopes to capitalise on the preference for mobile-based technologies, and radio, by providing an audio-based reporting system.
“Voice offers a comfortable way to communicate, in the region there is a huge appetite for radio so audio content and interaction is already in demand,” Vetch explains.
Al Jazeera Voices was created through a collaboration with the World Wide Web Foundation, and the project is being conducted in partnership with the National Youth Alliance Sector and Kibera TV, with the partner organisations conducting moderation of reports submitted.
Safaricom is also involved, and subscribers to the Safaricom network can access the Voices line toll-free on 0800 720 690.
The network is one of a number of online initiatives being utilised to support reporting of the elections, including on a local and crowd-sourced level.
Kenyans have been encouraged to make use of Twitter hashtags to report incidents across the country, while Uchaguzi - a Ushahidi-style crowd mapping website - is also reporting happenings throughout the election process.