National exams: Quest to make impression or impact?
As the clock ticks closer to August 2022 general elections, a youngster from Gatundu North in Kiambu County has invented a mobile application offering a common and consolidated platform for all opinions on matters of governance, from the people.
With the soaring uncertainties filling the political scene and with Kenyans being filled with conflicting opinions, The Real Opinion Poll (TROP), a political utility app hopes to help Kenyans attain all sovereign power to determine their most preferred political leaders, political parties as well as voice their opinions on trending polls through a vote.
According to Kennedy Kibebe who started developing the App in May 2020 alongside Francis Njoroge, the application eliminates any bias that has been existent during the release of opinion poll data, because the results gathered on it are directly from the people.
“It is you that gets to vote and decide. TROP is an app for the people, by the people and for the people,” he said.
Kibebe highlighted that while the relationship between representatives and citizens has been in a constant evolution, there is a growing need for transparency and reciprocity, at a local level.
He said that TROP offers a political engagement platform between politicians and the electorates for optimally functioning politics at the National, County, Sub County and even Ward level.
The platform, he said, offers all political candidates’ chance to voice their values, background alongside taking supporters backstage with them, for transparency’s sake and for identification purposes.
“In this day and age, supporters want to experience this kind of connection. There is a section to provide the candidate's history, his professional political career, experience, accomplishments, etc., a video upload option to sell their manifesto and social media connectors as a window into his or her day-to-day activities,” he said.
The youngster noted that the App creates the cohesion between the physical and the digital noting that actual interaction with citizens is a crucial part of the life of a representative.
“With the mobile app, through a Calendar section, a candidate or elected representative can list and promote all upcoming events scheduled on his or her agenda, with a description of the event, the exact address, and other relevant information. Reports can be published in the aftermath, in the form of an article or video for those that couldn’t make it, for a true sense of community around the app,” he added.
In terms of usability, Kibebe noted that the App has an interaction section that voters can use to ask questions before an event, post photos during and after a convention, voice specific demands among other things.
“We have also incorporated a News Section that offers all relevant news on matters politics. Topics of public interest are addressed in Articles and Videos as a way to offer more visibility into things as they are. All these besides an informative section highlighting those in leadership,” he said.