StartupsTech

Stears introduces an open data solution in advance of Nigeria’s 2023 elections.

Stears introduces an open data solution in advance of Nigeria’s 2023 elections.

Stears, a Pan-African data and intelligence firm, has released a data product called Stears Elections in advance of Nigeria’s 2023 general elections.
Voter participation in Nigeria has always been low. The turnout in 2019 was just 36%, demonstrating that many Nigerians did not participate in the process of choosing their political leaders. Many governorship elections saw turnouts of 20% or less, with off-cycle elections like the Anambra gubernatorial elections in 2021 and the Lagos East Senate by-election in 2020 seeing turnouts as low as 10%.


However, current polling numbers and campaign momentum indicate that voter participation in this race may be greater. Even little changes might have a big impact on the end product. Stears Elections intends to promote participation in the 2023 elections by making important election data easily accessible.

The team’s ability to generate a unique data product is owed in large part to its interdisciplinary character. Stears combines extensive technical experience and a grasp of Nigeria’s political economy and demographic dynamics with competence in data gathering, storage, engineering, and visualization. Stears’ four founders, Michael Famoroti, an economist; Bode Ogunlana, a software engineer; Abdul Abdulrahim, a data scientist; and Preston Ideh, the CEO, all graduates of the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford, enable such a diversified staff.

Stears Elections is an open data initiative that aims to organise all election data in Nigeria. Stears created Nigeria’s first real-time election database in 2019 and became a popular site for millions of Nigerians seeking reliable results. Since then, the organisation has increased its data coverage to become more detailed. Stears will continue to improve its abilities to monitor, analyze, and visualize Nigerian elections as more data becomes available.


Stears has adopted an additive approach to increasing election participation in Nigeria, visualising voting zones using first-of-its-kind mapping data. Stears is pleased to have constructed the only extant map of constituency borders for the House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly, among many other firsts. Stears’ data and technical teams used complicated data processing methods to achieve this.

“Creating the borders for State Houses of Assembly seats has been significantly more difficult since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has provided less information regarding constituency makeup.” “However, the team is dedicated to being the first to finish and share this geospatial data set for Nigeria in January,” adds Hannah Kates, the project’s lead. Hannah is a seasoned data scientist and product manager who formerly managed a portfolio of public data explorer products for the New York City Department of City Planning.

To address the problem of limited access to erroneous and inadequate data, Stears created Nigeria’s first real-time election database in 2019, which was used to monitor the general elections by over two million Nigerians and local and foreign observers.

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