Today we’re launching the Afghanistan Open Data Project, an initiative of data and maps to better understand and prepare for Afghanistan elections. “Better data for better elections” is a theme we’ve advanced in several elections. The first step is to increase access to data. Five years ago, the 2009 Afghanistan presidential election data was locked in PDFs and using that data was reactionary and difficult. Today we’re launching not just a portal but living experiment to prepare an open data infrastructure that supports free and fair elections.
Creating a data infrastructure before an election
With the election six weeks away, we’re launching with a series of maps and data that begin to look at critical questions about preparing for an election. From access to polling centers, numbers and distribution of polling stations by gender, to voting irregularities and missing results, data can drive more professional and effective efforts by the election commission, election observers, media groups, poltical campaigns, and local citizen groups.
We hope that others will use, join, and out do this effort. Like telephones, open data has a network effect: the more people use it, the more powerful it becomes. If you are working in Afghanistan and have data, need data, or know how to work with data, please work with us.
*Snow cover data across Afghanistan in February combined with polling center locations. Election prepartions happening now may need to factor for access to remote areas with difficult weather conditions.*
Visualizing settlement locations across Afghanistan. Time and distance are critical for enabling access to all citizens.
Afghanistan Open Data Project map listing.