Eastern Communications and AES Watch will focus primarily on the reporting of incidences related to the automated polls that the whole country will experience for the first time on Monday, May 10. AES Watch (Automated Election System Watch) is a voluntary, independent and nonpartisan aggrupation of concerned groups and individuals monitoring the 2010 elections in the Philippines.
AES Watch uses the Ushahidi crowdsourcing information software to monitor the Philippine elections – the same platform deployed by monitoring groups for elections in India last year and in Sudan this year. EASTERN meanwhile will utilize its tier 2 Data Center and reliable and fast connectivity to support the data management and transmission requirements of the platform.
The unique feature of the Ushahidi web-based platform is that the reports received are categorized and displayed on a digital map of the Philippines. Anybody may access the AES watch website (http://www.aeswatch.org). This, along with reports from various advocacy groups, will provide timely information with the hope that it will direct Comelec and appropriate authorities to address incidents that could affect our having peaceful and credible elections.
Aside from monitoring elections, this technology has been used to also monitor emergency relief operations for the Haiti and Chile earthquakes; Ecology projects in Kenya and the crisis from the Swine Flu pandemic. It has even been use to track crime and violence in Atlanta, Kenya, South Africa and the Gaza Strip.
Reporting incidents is easy. Concerned citizens and other informants can send their incident reports via SMS, email or web. Smart mobile users may text reports through number 5656 (typing “BOTO “). Other texters may use 0905-304-2534.. Reports can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, entered directly into the website http://www.aeswatch.org, or sent via Twitter using the following hash tags: #aes, #aeswatch, #juanvote, #votereportph, #kontradaya, #project3030. Reports will also be obtained from pre-registered informants of partner groups such as CenPEG, CPU, etc.
There will be moderators to upload incident reports to the website. These moderators will also ferret out fabricated information (e.g., reports relating to different locations but coming from a single source) thus helping ensure reliable reporting. It is expected that TV and radio programs will use the AES Watch generated data for their own reports and commentaries.
Aside from real-time reporting, the information can also be used for post-mortem analysis.