ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Policy makers and tech experts from Kenya to Singapore gathered for a workshop to brainstorm how Open Source digital public goods can help fight “information pollution” around elections.
Led by Open Knowledge Foundation’s Renata Ávila and Patricio del Boca, the 90-minute session was part of the recent Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA) Member’s meeting held in the Ethiopian capital.
Building on the momentum of the 2023 Nobel Prize Summit campaign where the DPGA and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) highlighted Open Source tools mitigating the spread of disinformation, the session is part of a larger project around elections from the OKFN.
Ávila introduced the Foundation’s project around the “Digital Public Infrastructure for Electoral Processes.” The goal for 2024 is to understand how digital infrastructure works in 40 countries and co-design an electoral digital public infrastructure (DPI) to increase resilience and trust in elections.
There’s a lot of work to do: many election processes are opaque and not designed for the average voter to understand. Even if more governments are turning to Open Source for daily work, it hasn’t taken as much root around elections. Del Boca gave the example of Bolivia, where, in 2019, Evo Morales lost due to a controversial “quick count” that claimed he could not avoid a runoff election.