20/10/2015

3 words to help monitor Tanzania’s election

Restless Development is an agency focused on helping young people take a leadership role in the development of their countries. Young people are most affected by the persistent problems facing the world, and yet are frequently overlooked as a resource. Restless Development has been working with young people in development across the Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia since 1985.

In Tanzania they are training their network of volunteers to provide voter education and report issues like outbreaks of violence, intimidation, or vote fraud in the run up to the 2015 elections in Oct.

Tanzania has been one of Africa’s most peaceful countries since its independence and has been regarded over the past two decades as one of the continent’s strongest democracies. However this year’s election is the most competitive and unpredictable in the nation’s history and that could challenge both of those assumptions. Analysts have warned that the unusually tight race could spark tensions. Ensuring the election process is fair, representative and violence free is key.

In the past it’s been difficult for volunteers to identify and report the locations of any issues. This can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of the program especially if they are reporting time sensitive information.

All Restless Development volunteers have been trained on how they can use the free what3words app to provide a precise location when they are reporting what they see on the ground.

‘The what3words system enables the simple communication of issue location. It is a critical component for an effective response and to keep the elections fair and representative’, said Rahman Bajun, Restless Development

what3words is the simplest way to talk about location. It has divided the world into 3m x 3m squares, each with a unique 3 word address. Words are much easier to say and remember than any other system. It is available in multiple languages including Swahili and the app works offline where there is no data connection.

‘We are privileged that our system can help the democratic process of Tanzania’, said Chris Sheldrick, what3words Co-founder and CEO.