OneWorld aims to empower citizens with the right tools, training, and coordination, so they can hold their elected officials accountable, deliver democracy and respect human rights. OneWorld pioneers internet and mobile phone applications that the world’s poorest people can use to improve their lives. OneWorld’s information tools help people everywhere understand global problems and get involved in the issues they care about.
How OneWorld works
OneWorld has a 20-year track record of designing and delivering successful ICT and new media projects to improve democracy, health, education, agriculture, livelihoods, and the environment. Based in Egypt, Cambodia, Mali, Myanmar, Senegal and the UK, OneWorld’s team is currently coordinating and managing multi-year programmes across Africa and Asia as well as in the UK and Sweden. They innovate and develop technology solutions tailored to individual organisations’ needs, and provide expert consultancy to foundations, non-profits and election management bodies.
OneWorld does on-the-ground scoping studies to get in-depth insight into local realities, and identifies previously unseen opportunities for technology to make a difference. They work with local people to build technology, train partners to use it in their projects, and maintain it. They coordinate multi-actor projects to achieve specified goals, outcomes and outputs, transferring skills to ensure projects are sustainable long after OneWorld steps back.
With experienced programme staff and forward-thinking software developers, OneWorld is a unique organisation, mixing the best of the international development and tech sectors. This rare combination enables OneWorld to imagine leading-edge solutions to age-old problems and then implement those innovations within successful and sustainable projects.
Monitoring Elections in Real-Time
OneWorld’s real-time election monitoring platform enables civil society to respond immediately to electoral problems and outbreaks of violence – before, during and after Election Day. They empower civic groups with clear, reliable evidence to tell the world whether elections were credible.
Trained election monitors send their observations by text message (SMS) or smartphone app; the messages are instantly de-coded, verified, aggregated and published. Easy-to-read charts, maps, and spreadsheets give civil society leaders a real-time picture of what’s happening around the country at the local, regional and national levels.
- OneWorld has coordinated high-profile Situation Rooms with civil society in Senegal (2012), Sierra Leone (2012), Mali (2013), Guinea-Bissau (2014), and Burkina Faso (2015 and 2016).
- Local election monitors have sent over 320,000 observations in more than 65,000 text messages before, during, and after elections, enabling officials to fix electoral problems, arrest people attempting to pay voters, investigate cases of over-voting, and rapidly alert national and UN officials to incidents of violence and intimidation.
- In Senegal and Burkina Faso, Parallel Vote Tabulations enabled civil society to know the true results, within ±3%, just a few hours after polls closed, and well before official results were announced.
- In Guinea-Bissau and Mali, long term observers monitored campaign rallies, radio and T.V. coverage, and civic education activities.
Informing and Engaging Citizens
OneWorld also believes that sustainable democratic foundations are built by equipping citizens with the knowledge and skills to make positive choices and to engage their representatives on a regular basis.
- In Myanmar, OneWorld developed the “New Niti” app with youth ahead of the country’s first fully democratic elections in 2015. The app uses infographics, info-cartoons, interactive games and drama to teach about citizenship, democracy, elections, rule of law and peace. More than 83,000 have liked the app on Facebook – equal to the number who like the country’s House of Representatives – in just four months.
- An on-demand civic information tool gives citizens answers to their questions by SMS, phone call, email, or Facebook. In Mali, over 15,000 messages were answered in four weeks around the elections. In Myanmar, OneWorld’s Let’s Ask platform is linking citizens with newly elected members of parliament and has over 20,000 Facebook fans in less than two months of operation.
- In Mali, permanent monitors will share information about local government activities with the community via SMS and Facebook, focusing on budget and tax decisions and local service delivery. Local citizens will provide feedback to officials via the community monitors.
What Others Say About OneWorld
Hillary Clinton called OneWorld’s Senegal election monitoring effort “perhaps the most sophisticated monitoring programme ever deployed in Africa, or anywhere else.”
Simon Maxwell, director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), said: “It’s hard to think of an organisation which inspires such affection as OneWorld … You open the world to us through all these extraordinary technological innovations … [but] the thing that I’ve always been so impressed by … is that that you are absolutely committed to social justice, to equality, to participation – whether it is in poverty reduction, or in rights, or in HIV/AIDS, or in democratisation, or now in climate change … it’s about carrying those values.”