The choice of system design by the IEBC has been on the lips of many. The more technology inclined among us are wondering how and why the system seems to be having so many glitches while the functions of the said system are “simple”. Simple used in quotes, not to belittle system design and architecture, but to mean we have at our disposal both skills to build out enterprise level services and tools to test all manner of scenarios that may arise in a system such as this plus conceptualize the relevant use cases. What I would like to see from the IEBC is the User Acceptance Test document to see what parameters and scenarios were taken for a proper workout prior to the big sign off. Also, looking at the date on the RFP, the system was most definitely cobbled up quickly.
Building mobile application front ends is the least of the tasks, ensuring secure communication via VPN is neither here nor there – Safaricom have a stable offering at that. The design of the back-end is what matters…the scalability, redundancy, data integrity etc.It’s also prudent to get white-hats to try break or infiltrate the system. The big boys who crunching tonnes of data make their architecture and stacks known, security by obscurity is never the way to go.
For the amount of money put down for this system, I would say that I am disappointed, mostly because I know what could be.
I will make a concerted effort this year to reach out to these organisations that play such critical roles in our county yet sees to be an invisible knowledge and experience chasm that they have been unable to fill.
Technology, or its common reference I.T. is no longer a support function, the challenge is that we have to provide the knowledge transfer to move the focus from server room to board room.
Here is the RFP doc put out for the same.
RFP Title: Kenya Election Results Transmission System (RTS)
RFP #: RFP-13-050
Issued on: Friday, December 21st 2012
Proposal Deadline: Friday, January 4th 2013, 17:00hrs Nairobi time
Download RFP – http://bit.ly/Xpi6LI
(pull it from parent site as they have all manner of disclaimers on its unauthorized distribution and transmission)