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Posts Tagged ‘Technology

Election, Statistics, and Technology

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After looking at india272.com it has just opened up my mind to the possibilities of to have connected society to bring change which can be quite transformative.

It’s just amazing to think about the possibilities this idea is carrying in its womb.

It has possibility of bringing millions of user on the political arena. It has potential to transform Indian society from being recipient of Govt’s efforts to participants in Govt formation and day to day governance. It can also make BJP truly democratic party.

That itself can create immense opportunity for everyone. But let’s talk of what it can do for 2014 election alone.

Statistics & Technology: Finding the ground

1. BJP already knows what seats they lost by thin margins in last 2 elections.

2. BJP already knows where their support base lies

3. BJP also knows where their potential seats lie

Take data from site like IndiaVotes.com or ECI  and rate each constituency on the scale of 1 (sure win) – 5 (no hope). Where BJP needs to focus is on seats between 2-4. Maximum effort should go in 3 to ensure margin seats are won and then on 4 to try to capture seats which can theoretically be won. Then on 2s to make sure no blunders are made.

How technology can help? Help find seats and booths where they should focus on and in what capacity they should invest in.

  1. Rate each assembly segments and then each booth of these constituency also in the same way. This gives us the contour of the current situation.
  2. Also mark each booth on whether it’s urban or rural segment as well (O)*
  3. Also mark each booth on its caste, religion composition (O)
  4. Take another table and rate each caste and religion in every state and rate them on favor-ability scale (S)
  5. Now enter details of voting pattern percentage of total voting and votes received by BJP in last 5 elections (O)
  6. Consider candidate details like caste and results in each seats in last 5 elections (Winnability of BJP in last 5) (O)
  7. Caveats to add at each seat level if applicable (Events which were not of permanent nature but had impact on the outcome)

Note: (O) Means objective data with no bias involved (S) Bias can lead to in-correct results

Now we have 5-7 axis on which we can do clustering of booths. We can have booths that can be divided in 5 categories. Weight for each axis requires some real insights in to electioneering and is critical factor. Probably needs to do some experimentation with clustering exercise. Basically need to dissect data in multiple ways to see different patterns. As Indian society elections are complex it’s not 1+1=2 game. Probably this exercise can be restricted to few bellwether seats initially.

Now this may provide insights into booths where

1. Voting % needs to increase (Favorable to BJP but low voting booths)

2. Needs to win over local caste leader or candidate selection may have impact (High voting booths but fluctuating over time. Or caste combination is not very favorable)

3. Need to enroll volunteers (BJP’s traction can increase with ground presence)

Let’s say from first exercise we have classified each booth in the country on the scale of 1 to 5. Now what are the actionable insights we can get.

Technology to work on results of 1. Consider Scenario-2:

Take constituency that fall in category 4 and 5.

Booths with favorable parameters like urban center, high potential to find sympathizers etc. If india272.com becomes the tool that works on ground level with leader in charge of constituency, coordinator for each assembly segment down to booth level. Plus BJP leadership should endorse and support this endeavor. If it’s not mission critical effort it will not yield desire outcome. Target should be to get at least 10 volunteers for category 5 seats (Potentially BJP members in future) per booth and 2x for each category up-to level 1 seat. By doing this it is ensured that there are troops at ground level for each booth. That’s remarkable.

Now the requirement is to

1. Ensure two way communication

Induction of volunteers is required. There are enough fence sitters and it requires some missionary response. There should be weekly or bi-weekly meetings at booth level. With agenda set initially from the top. India272.com with SMS/Calendar integration can actually send SMS to all volunteers. Minutes of the meetings e-mail, SMS reminders, SMS weekly agenda to each volunteer.

2. Ensure sense of belongingness and sense of purpose

Volunteers should be able to meet and know who all are associated with the mission. More the merrier. People just get excited by seeing so many people on the ground. There should be first formal meeting that tells how many people are joining, where we are meeting and what’s the agenda. Even in Google with all offices having so many VC units physical meetings are mandatory.

3. Ensure that action is tangible, movement is forward

Once physical meeting has happened have action everyday online either through SMS, email alerts or whatever way possible. There should be enough action on India272.com that it becomes default place to check along with email. Co-ordinated effort by senior leaders to post their itinterary, speeches, agendas, op-eds, videos, etc.

4. Ensure volunteers stay connected

Volunteer should be able to call coordinator or tall free number and update his/her status if s/he is from remote area. Each volunteer should get task list, and coordinator should ensure it’s updated. Coordinator should call every volunteer every week to ensure people know we care. People will lose interest after initial outburst of passion. To sustain it for 20+ weeks is tough requires sustained effort. Everyone should update their call status, meeting status, agenda update. In remote constituency it might require more field work hence require mobile app to help coordinators. Paper work and then converting it to digital copy will not work. App should be in indian languages.

5. Management of the mission

There should be bird’s eye view for each constituency and it can be public information as well in all democratic sense. Coordinators, volunteers should get points and visible recognition on the site and elsewhere. Leadership should be able to track action, reach volunteers, and focus on getting message out. Imagine volunteer in Balia getting call from Rajnath Singh/Modi and getting congratulated for his/her effort.

What it can do beyond 2014 is just mind boggling. But parking my thoughts for later.

Written by goodapostate

August 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Posted in BJP, election

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Political management using technology

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When I saw BJP’s http://www.india272.com/ site I was pleasantly surprised at political party’s ability to bring in technology to try to change the political landscape in India. 

Even if the effort is not fully materialized it gave me ideas which I thought are worth sharing.

Technology as enabler not for the sake of it.

If you see http://www.india272.com/ is good looking site with some real punches with it. Will it be effective in changing outcome? I doubt it.

Why? 

  • Action is on the ground not on the web

Yes, you can say you have to create ‘hawa’ online also but to sustain it for 10 months is tough task. Site or app should be used as tool rather than utility.

  • Tool without hands

What any site provides is tool. You need hands to use it. Similarly someone has to take leadership run with it. Probably create organisational hierarchy. With existing party members. And set agenda. Do follow up. Update information etc.

  • Technology for ground reality

Any technology that we apply should solve real life problems. What should be the objective of the technology employed? To mobilize voters to vote on the day of polling. Keep them informed on the way and motivate them to participate in the political activities and have them stay invested in the outcome of the poll. Does current site do it? 50-50 or less I would say.

  • Final product

So, now we know objective of the tool probably we can roughly outline what it ought to do.

  1. App and site should be as intuitive as possible as most users will not be tech savvy 
  2. Tool should work when user is offline 
  3. Tool should provide me mobile connectivity
  4. Tool should collect information till booth level
  5. Tool should have task creation, follow up, deadline, update etc
  6. Tool should have role based access
  7. Users should get feel of community ability to look for volunteers in every booth in entire country
  8. There should be leader for each booth who can set up tasks voter enrollment, meeting, events, preparing marketing material and distributing it etc. etc.
  9. Volunteers can update their tasks. Suggest new tasks.
  10. There should be physical meeting at booth level with 20 week agenda
  11. Whole purpose of the tool is to enable all volunteers to participate in the massive effort to mobilize voters. It has to happen on the ground. Tool has to enable that. i.e. Sending minutes of the meetings, Sending reminders etc.
  12. When user signs in s/he should get sense of accomplishment, sense of things moving etc. Ability to reach out at constituency, state or even national level coordinators
  13. There should be a mobile APP that allows accessing all this information
  14. Mobile APP that should download data when installed and should have auto sync when user connects to network as there may not be data network available all the time

Without these kind of features it will be just wishlist and also ran kind of site.

There is potential and it’s worth exploring.

Written by goodapostate

August 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,