Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sudan VoteMonitor, Panama CrimeTracker and Kiirti

Below are some important updates since our last post.
  • Sudan election monitoring platform is planned to be launched in February in collaboration with the Sudan Institute. The polls mark Sudan's first democratic elections in more than two decades.
  • Panama crime tracker platform, an initiative by the International Center for Journalists, will be launched with help from eMoksha and managed by a Knight Fellow on the ground. The proposed timeline is end of February.
  • Kiirti development has been gaining great momentum with help from unexpected quarters. Simmortel helped put together a simple call-flow in Hindi to accept citizen reports via phone and route them to Kiirti. By Jan 31st, call-flows will be enabled in Tamil, Marathi, Telugu, Kannada and English. MORE+1 has been helping us with a much-needed site design (a.k.a facelift) which should be completed by Feb 1st. Soon after, with help from couple of Microsoft volunteers, the design changes will be applied to the production site. Meanwhile, our Project Manager in Bangalore, has begun reaching out to interested NGOs/organizations to get them on-board the Kiirti platform. More updates about partners in a separate post later.
  • On the administration front, early this month, we began the process to register eMoksha as 501(c)(3) in the United States and as Section 25 in India.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vision for Kiirti

Kiirti is a one-stop governance portal for India aiming to provide the following functionalities in 2010.
  • Citizens should be able to report, view and discuss any civic or governance related issues - ranging from dangerous potholes to absent teachers in public schools to domestic violence, etc - through telephone (voice), mobile (sms), and the internet (email, web, twitter).
  • NGOs should be able to setup subdomains to engage volunteers and citizens to report, view, discuss and route issues appropriately. For example, NGOs focusing on child education can create a subdomain to allow volunteers and citizens to report, view and discuss issues related to public school education quality (including teacher attendance, state of school library, school maintenance, etc). The reported issues will be aggregated and routed to the appropriate government authorities for action; the same issues can be followed up using Right To Information (RTI) act when met with lack of response. Overall, a one-stop shop for enabling better governance.
  • Citizens should be able to register to create and manage an online profile tracking their civic engagement activities. They can form and become part of existing groups to collaborate on larger issues and policies.
  • Government can pro-actively engage with citizen groups via online townhall meetings at different levels - e.x. ward, city, district, state, national, etc.