The Popola system is an open source data collection and management system that allows for the collection, collation and analysis of data in real time. Popola refers to the act of zooming in or scrutinising and is derived from the Nguni.
The system is extremely flexible and has been adapted to suit the needs of a wide range of stakeholders such as election observers, political parties and researchers and has been used for diverse field operations, including:
Using polling observation as an example, data obtained in the field on Election Day is sent electronically to the database from which reports can be immediately generated, providing the EOM leadership a clear picture of what was observed. These reports then form the basis for the writing up of a preliminary statement and the final report.