A commendable initiative

As I see it, the project aims to fulfill 2 need areas, both of which are very important and relevant for civic engagement in the political process.

1) Be a one-window information resource about Mumbai's political candidates and elected representatives so that they can make an informed voting choice and

2) Push for greater accountability among the elected representatives, by tracking and stacking promises against an actual performance index and making that information public. This Promise versus Performance Index is indeed an innovative strategy for gauging accountability.

The methodology followed appears to be detailed and the data well-researched and objective. However, the presentation of the data could perhaps be a bit more user-friendly. While the option of being able to compare candidates on various parameters using a visual mnemonic is very useful, the numerous flags took a while to get used to. When it came to individual candidates, I found the presentation format used by http://www.praja.org/ to be somewhat simpler and more user-friendly.

Given that the scope of the project is pretty ambitious (given the large number of politicians it aims to track, with limited resources), perhaps some form of crowd-sourcing of information could be considered to get many more hands on board to contribute to the data collection process. Then the internal team could of course follow their filtering & validating process so that the final output is not compromised.

Another small suggestion. It would be nice to have English subtitles on the videos. By the way, is there likely to be a Hindi/Marathi version of the portal too, in the near future?

The project is already collaborating with many other civil society organizations. Maybe a little more visibility on the ground would help towards furthering awareness about the project. The printed Voter's Guide from Mumbai Votes as well as the proposed mobile application (hopefully SMS-based) both seem to be steps in the right direction.


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