Protecting Democracy in Africa using ICT – Campaign Finance Monitoring tool

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Post-election violence today is one of the leading “systematic death” causes in developing countries and it often leads to several other negative changes in society. The finance in campaigns and other election activities is often a reliable figure to predict what may come in the event of an election. With a possibility to know who spends what, we get the ability to know what to expect in case they lose. Furthermore, how would we know the impact of money on democracy in Africa? CFM makes that dream a reality.

vlcsnap-2016-02-27-21h09m23s1Discussing the findings of the report got from the system on NTV, ACFIM National Cordinator with Sheila Nduhukire

By time of writing, incumbent and candidate Yoweri Museveni has spent $7,000,000 in elections as per the Alliance for Campaign Finance Monitoring 3rd report. ACFIM used a tool that we developed called CFM. At every report release, the alliance members (including Transparency international and Anti-corruption coalition) invited stakeholders to attend. This in turn helped everyone reflect on their spending which made democratic procedures more attainable.

acfim report
An excerpt from the 3rd report of the 2016 Uganda elections, captured using the CFM we designed for GNDEM supported Anti-Corruption Coalition and Transparency international

The idea of combining technology with civil society organization activities is a win on both sides. In 2011 ACFIM created a prototype of a computer system application using MS-Excel to enter data from the field. However, this would deny them real-time results and make it a cumbersome exercise for data analysts who had to open a multitude of applications to get work done. This however was a show of growing trend for mixing technology with NGO/CSO activities.

The CFM web App We developed fits into any country’s elections, provides a way to monitor both legal and illegal campaign financing, supports live upload of photo, audio and video evidence and runs on day to day devices such as laptops, phones and tablets. The system, which requires no installation, uses the visually compelling technology of PHP, Js, JQuery and HTML5 to request for data in a summarized way.  In addition, no installation is needed and to avoid human error in figures, auto calculation techniques are used. Much of the panels are selectable to avoid spelling errors for example Districts, Dates and Constituencies are pre-entered and used as is. Also contained in the CFM App is the Admin Dashboard that automatically loads when it senses Admin rights of a user. This makes the system completely self-sufficient; in other words, not dependent on user manipulation to provide the right access.
CFM snapshot Make report

NGOs and CSOs are individualists, and we have embraced that quality by offering design options to our consumers. Together with fellow software engineers, we have designed the perfect easy to use, secure, instant and customizable component placements to maximize maneuverability and speed based on the part of the app being modified. We have optimal placement designs for alliances’ work, single NGO/CSO, and foreign monitors.

Our implementation plan is carried in 3 phases: Design, Train and Maintain with Backups. When all packages a booked at once by an NGO/CSO, they cost $4,280 including transport costs in east Africa Only. (Outside East Africa, we can arrange and conclude business online and payments are made after work is delivered. In case the organization plans to invest in transport of our team as well, we welcome that too.) On the other hand, your organization may choose to get the work phase by phase. Per complete phase, the charge is $1500.

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