Published On: Fri, Nov 7th, 2014

Kenya Diaspora Think Tank launches a mapping system to facilitate Diaspora Vote

The Kenya Diaspora Database (i-Vote), was created as a platform to enable diaspora Kenyans to vote from wherever they are. It has since been developed into a database with multiple functions that include:

i)                    an online ballot that will allow efficient and secure diaspora voting;

ii)                  biometric capability that will provide for identification requirements;

iii)                a brain-bank that will reflect diaspora skills and talent.

Kenya Diaspora Alliance, the group behind this initiative is driven by a vision  to grow a powerbase of voters, lobbyists, investors, professionals and philanthropists who will empower diaspora as change-makers for Kenya; and provide opportunities for Kenyans abroad to achieve and thrive. 

The database is potentially the most powerful tool yet initiated by diaspora. It’s proof of our ability to digitally consolidate our power for our own good, as opposed to surrendering to a state-controlled database. i-Vote’s intended use reflects diaspora’s collective goals and the benefits of being on the database:

 Lobbying & Voting Power: As a database of diaspora voters with online voting capability, the facility can be IEBC-accredited to enable diaspora to vote efficiently from wherever they are. The database will reflect the voting power of the “48th County” and make our numbers count towards the choice of leaders who shape our country’s destiny.

Our collective numbers will also have petitioning power to shape policies that work best for us and for Kenya. The Kenyan dual citizen in foreign countries makes a powerful lobbyist and diaspora diplomat for Kenya. Signing up on the database would help identify and organize those who are savvy in lobbying and diplomacy.

 

Philanthropy and Brain-Banking: As a database of professionals reflecting the various  skills and talent in the diaspora, a diaspora brain-bank can help build communities in Kenya through offering targeted services, for instance, in healthcare and education. Singularly, our philanthropic work has been scattered. Signing up in large numbers on the database provides human resources necessary for executing sustainable large-scale projects that benefit many.

 

Diaspora can also competitively present valuable personnel to serve in Kenya’s corporate industry, government and civil society.

 

Investment and Trade: As a database of Kenya’s richest “county”, it will enable diaspora associations to partner with businesses, banks and government towards investments that make significant difference for diaspora and for Kenya. There is now a boom in diaspora investment vehicles, and a database is an important part of readily connecting potential investors to opportunities. i-Vote also provides county-specific data that will enable easy connection between investors and county governments and allow for the thriving of small businesses from the grassroots.

 

With a database of potential venture capitalists of all caliber, diaspora can easily become that Grameen Bank that would seed Kenya’s young entrepreneurs. These are hardworking youth who have no collateral except bankable ideas. If we grow this database of investors together, we can mobilize diaspora more effectively towards creating jobs while achieving personal dreams.

Partnerships:

There are functions of i-Vote that would require government and IEBC’s partnership and endorsement, specifically its use as a platform for voting in general elections or national referendums. We will continue seeking a win-win dialogue with all relevant authorities in order to legitimize these specific functions.

We ask the government to act smart in recognizing diaspora’s worthy initiatives. i-Vote achieves common goals efficiently, responsibly and inclusively.

There are also functions of i-Vote that do not need government endorsement. The brain-bank component that allows for philanthropy; county-based investment and trade opportunities; and seeding young entrepreneurs, will succeed phenomenally with a People-Public-Private-Partnership model. i-Vote is the digitization of diaspora’s power.

Security:

i-Vote is hosted by an independent and established party, WebHostingBuzz Services. The website is secured through SSL protocol where all data is encrypted before transmission over Internet.

The forms have been validated to prevent malicious code injections. The database assigns each member a unique digital ID that cannot be duplicated. i-Vote is programmed by TicTocMind Technologies.

i-Vote also features an interactive world map that monitors diaspora demographics as they are entered. Members’ information remains private.

Testing and cybersecurity assurance is always an ongoing task. The technical team strives to provide the most secure and efficient database possible. Sign-up is at i-Vote.net.

i-Vote is a Kenya Diaspora Alliance Initiative. KDA is a federation of Kenya diaspora organizations. To support or invest in the i-Vote initiative, please send a message to info@i-vote.net.

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Kenya Diaspora Think Tank launches a mapping system to facilitate Diaspora Vote
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