Ghana Votes

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Social Media Tracking Centre (STMC) that will monitor the use of social media during Ghana's 2012 elections has been set up.


The centre will provide a real time response mechanism on election irregularities, violence and other concerns by reaching out to key election stakeholders for immediate action.

The aim is to monitor all social media platforms during the elections to afford civil society, state authorities and development partners the opportunity to know in real time public opinions, sentiments and attitudes relayed through different social media platforms in order for relevant actions to be taken.

The African Election Project, in collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and EnoughisEnough (EiE) with support from the United Kindom's Department for International Development (DFID) is Social Media Tracking Centre (STMC).

According to Mr. Michael Ohene-Effah, Governance Advisor at DFID, "Ghana DFID welcomes and supports this ground-breaking social media tracking centre initiative.

Although there are several media monitoring activities in the mainstream media surrounding Ghana's 2012 elections, there is currently only a handful and often inefficient manual tracking of elections trends taking place in the growing social media environment.

Social Media Tracking Centre (SMTC), comes at an opportune time, since there is ample evidence pointing to lack of efficient social media monitoring capability among key actors covering Ghana's 2012 elections.

Mr Jerry Sam, Project Manager of African Elections Project, explained that the real-time data capturing ability of the SMTC will allow for up-to-the moment incidents taking place in different areas around the country, to be collated, analysed and transmitted as alerts and to relevant elections stakeholders such  as the  National Elections Security Task Force (NESTF),  civil society actors, the media and Electoral Commission, among others for necessary action to be taken.

He said it was expected that monitoring social media powered by SMTC will provide valuable feedback and focus on how alerts coming out of the SMTC will serve as early warning mechanism thereby contributing significant  reduction of electoral violence while at the same time ensuring transparent and free elections.

Mr Sam said the African Elections Project was established in 2008, with the vision of enhancing the ability of journalists, citizen journalists and the news media to provide more timely and relevant election information and knowledge while undertaking monitoring of specific and important aspects of governance.

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