Freedom Fone

Election monitoring

As of June 2012, SODNET in Kenya are working to integrate Freedom Fone into the Uchaguzi platform that is now being used in 4 different African countries to monitor elections. Uchaguzi is a civic platform that uses multiple channels to crowd source information, document violations and mobilise resources to address problems raised by accredited monitors or the general public.

National elections are highly fraught events in many countries. Electoral fraud, vote buying, intimidation, violence, media censorship and abuse of government resources are some of the issues that plague these events.

Freedom Fone can be an important addition to the platform as it allows an organisation's staff, trained monitors or the general public to get involved if there is a critical event or situation thanks to the Leave-a-Message function. Reporting via voice messages can be easier to do while remaining vigilant and staying out of harm's way and the organisation can always follow up on a caller's message to verify and clarify information.

Voice Menu functions can also provide a useful service to rural and/or disconnected audiences by providing information on demand news updates as an election unfolds. This would be particularly valuable to callers as an alternative to highly politicised broadcast channels. Election monitors and staff can also benefit from this service once they are in the field and disconnected from their usual sources of information.

Freedom Fone's Security functions allow an organisation to limit access to callers' personal details to trusted staff while allowing other staff and volunteers to read the content of SMSs and listen to voice messages. This prevents the abuse of information that could jeopardise the identity and whereabouts of monitors or callers.

Resources needed


  • 2 x Computers
  • 2 x OfficeRoute
  • 8 x Sim Cards
Staff and Competencies
  • A communications team that trains monitors, volunteers and communities to use the Freedom Fone election lines.
  • Two internal staff who are competent in creating and editing audio content, translating/transcribing voice messages, forwarding pertinent information to relevant organisations and who are security conscious.

Role of Freedom Fone

  • Rapid response in a crisis situations
  • Collection and dissemination of information
  • Oral testimony to validate situation reporting