The political dust has settled in Kenya, the legislative wing of the government is now on full throttle with the re-introduction of the ICT Practitioners Bill and the Presidential ascent of the new Marriage bill permitting polygamy. These debates have intrigued Bobbie Macdonald – a comparative politics PhD student from Stanford currently residing in Kenya.
In order to understand why politicians do what they do, he has built an app which should be named Keeping Up with the Parliamentarians. The app reads the daily hansard from parliament and performs analysis on the data collected. In it, you can view how may speeches a member of parliament has made, which bills he/she contributed to. But that’s not all, he is adding a machine learning component to the app to suggest topics that a member of parliament is drawn towards.
Hopefully, these features would make it easy for the electorate to better judge their representatives. A new module is under-development that draws in Twitter data related to a member of parliament or bill then perform sentiment analysis to capture the public pulse on a bill or attitude towards a member of parliament.
However, Bobbie is a one-man show. He is looking for volunteers and collaborators to see the project through. If you are a data scientist, software developer (front-end, backend), civic hacker, journalist, DevOps you can get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org . He is not just looking for tech assistance but also folks who can contribute ideas, test the app and directing to the right eyes.
Here is the technology stack:
- MongoDB – (storing the hansard)
- Express.js – (web framework)
- Python – (for machine learning and micro services)
- GraphQL – (for API)
- React Native (for Front End)
Cover image by Ebru