South Sudan just successfully hosted one of the largest events in the country’s short two-year history. On December 4 and 5 an impressively diverse crowd of potential investors and business owners from more than 60 countries came together in the capital Juba for the South Sudan Investment Conference, titled “Investment for Economic Diversification and Prosperity.” With more than 800 people registered to attend the two-day event, and at least 500 actually in attendance, observers and participants alike were relatively pleased that the event was carried out with only a few hiccups.
Logistically, it was just shy of a miracle. With only one major paved road in the entire country, a nascent hospitality and service industry, and a lack of local transportation options, it is noteworthy that an event of this magnitude even took place.
USAID has teamed up with Fortius One’s GeoCommons, Google, Development Seed, Relief Star-Tides, Synergy Strike Force, and Alive to roll out this interesting tool to provide people with opportunities to share information about elections in Afghanistan.
The tool gives a snapshot of voting patters and other interesting information that you can track geographically. You can even send an SMS about incidents and they will appear on the map.
On Sunday November 9, 2008 Nicaraguans went to the polls to elect municipal authorities. The numerous irregularities that took place before the election laid the ground for what turned out to be a bad outcome.
The electoral authority – Consejo Supremo Electoral – revoked the legal standing of Movimiento de Renovación Sandinista and Partido Conservador, two political parties opposed to president Daniel Ortega’s Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN). Local authorities harassed NGOs funded by international donors by raiding their offices, arguing they were conducting illegal activities; the authorities did not bring any specific charges against the organizations.
Nicaraguans who applied for voter IDs so that they could cast their votes faced considerable delays in the process. Moreover, the electoral authority denied the presence of international electoral observers – for the first time since 1990 according to The Economist - and delayed granting permits to the few local groups that were allowed to observe the electoral process.
On the day of the election, the few non-FSLN supporters that participated as electoral observers – mostly affiliated with the competing Partido Liberal Constitucionalista (PLC) and the alliance that supported Eduardo Montelegre’s campaing for mayor of Managua – reported major irregularities during the electoral process. Some polls closed earlier than mandated, and by the time polls officially closed, there were already claims of widespread fraud by Daniel Ortega’s government and the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional.