Our Stories From Libya


View of the Mediterranean Sea from Tripoli

On February 20th 2014, Libya elected an assembly to draft a constitution intended to advance the country’s transition to democracy and break a political stalemate more than two years after an uprising toppled Muammar Gaddafi. Ona worked with the Libyan High National Election Commission and the United Nations Development Program to build a data infrastructure platform which ensured that each vote was counted accurately and securely. Tally-Ho, an open-source system was built in just 4 weeks and used to tally hundreds of thousands of votes from in-country polling stations and overseas voting stations around the world.

For the sixteen days our team members were in Libya, they were mostly head down, buried in their laptops. It was imperative that no time was wasted because Libya was ready to vote after two years of political stalemate. They were ready to vote with the platform we were building. The work was exciting. The intense work load was expected. What was not expected were the experiences that Libya would offer.

 Continue reading Our Stories From Libya...

Tally-Ho: Robust Open-Source Election Software


Tally-Ho main graphic
Forms from the field were received at the In Take Section

Early in 2014, the Libyan government held a national election to select 60 representatives tasked with drafting a foundational constitution for the country. This was an enormous effort for a shaky new democracy in a country twice the size of Texas, 90% of which is sparsely populated desert with limited resources and power. To overcome these obstacles, Ona worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Libyan High National Election Commission (HNEC) on a voting process involving paper votes that were digitized and aggregated during the tallying.

With input from UNDP and HNEC, Ona designed and built Tally-Ho, a robust, open-source tallying application used for supporting accurate, secure and timely elections. The application was successfully used to enter thousands of results from polling stations around the country and around the world, aggregating results and producing final counts in just 7 days.

 Continue reading Tally-Ho: Robust Open-Source Election Software...

Dynamically populate choice lists with CSV data


In the last blog post Pull CSV data into your forms, we showed you how to pull data from a previous survey into your new survey using CSV files. Another application of this feature is to pull select_one or select_multiple choice lists from CSV files.

See the example below and the explanation that follows:

XLSForm survey sheet

type name label appearance
select_multiple fruits fruit Which fruits do you like? search('fruit_choices')

XLSForm choices sheet

list name name label
fruits fruit_name fruit_label

CSV file named 'fruit_choices' uploaded to the Media section of your survey

fruit_name fruit_label
apple Apple
mango Mango
pineapple Pineapple
watermelon Watermelon

You can take a look at this XLSForm here and the example CSV file here. If you download these files to try on your own, make sure you download them in Excel and CSV formats, respectively.

 Continue reading Dynamically populate choice lists with CSV data...

Pull CSV data into your forms


We have a new feature that we are sure will make data collection easier. It is now possible to pull existing survey data into your forms on the Ona Platform using CSV files.

What does this mean?

Say you have data from a previous survey, such as a baseline survey of members in each household in a village. After the baseline survey ended, you exported this data in CSV format, and it’s sitting on your computer. You now want to go back to the same village and conduct another survey, such as a Vitamin A coverage survey. When visiting each household, you would like to know how many children in this household are under 5 years of age, because they are eligible to receive Vitamin A. Using the pull CSV data feature, you can actually pull that information from your baseline survey and display it in the Vitamin A survey form. You can now conduct your survey with confidence, knowing you are capturing every eligible child from your baseline survey!

 Continue reading Pull CSV data into your forms...

Starting Ona


Starting Ona main graphic
Ona Nairobi's mascot and destroyer of dog beds, Mali

We started Ona six months ago and it’s been quite the ride so far. Since launching, we’ve completed a few cool projects, which we'll be posting soon to the website. A major success was building the vote tallying system used in Libya's elections. We've also added key new hires to a growing amazing team. We’re just now catching our breath, so we’re taking a minute to say hello world!

 Continue reading Starting Ona...