Thursday, January 31, 2013

Illiterate Northern Kenyans Get Voice Information about Elections via Mobile

Illiterate Northern Kenyans are using a system that allows them to call a number to get more information about the Kenyan election through a voice menu. This makes it easier for them to vote.

About 87% of the people living in Samburu, Kenya is illiterate. Because people are not able to read or write they often lack information and have no idea what their rights are. This becomes particularly apparent in the run up to the election (planned for upcoming March 4th), when many Samburu citizens have the right to vote, but have little idea on registration procedures or what they are actually voting for. With the explosive growth of mobile phone usage in Africa, people now do have access to information. That’s why international organisations Text to Change (TTC), IICD and Kenyan organisation SEED Samburu, set up an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) campaign to educate the Samburu about their civil rights in the new constitution and on the upcoming elections. Via the TTC platform a toll free line is set up which guides callers through a menu by voice. Via this line callers can choose subjects and have questions answered and acquire more information.

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