Citizen Dialogue Centre | Election Integrity – South Africa
page-template-default,page,page-id-782,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,select-theme-ver-3.8.1,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.1.1,vc_responsive

Election Integrity – South Africa

The adoption of social media as a global communications platform has created the perfect environment for message manipulation and manufactured consent.

To protect the integrity of the 2019 general elections, South African voters will need:

  • Transparent guidance on message manipulation
  • Practical voter empowerment focussed on constitutionalism and voter turnout

Citizen Dialogue Centre is collaborating with a growing group of civil society organisations to envision, strategise and implement solutions to these impending challenges.
We will continue to evolve our approaches as we learn and as the situation changes however, we are currently focussed on two parallel programmes:

  • Countering Organised Interference and Electoral Disruptions

      • Identify, track and publicly report accounts and narratives linked to apparent organised interference and message manipulation.
      • Through advanced social media analytics and machine learning.
      • Initial duration: 6 months – Jan to Jun 2019
      • Click HERE for more information about this project
  • Deepening and Defending Democracy

      • Encourage and support active citizenry in championing their democratic and constitutional rights and responsibilities.
      • Through research, digital dialogue and data-driven advocacy
      • Initial duration: 12 months – Jan to Dec 2019
      • Click HERE for more information about this project

Why We Are Doing This

The South African national elections – set for May 2019 – is likely to be the most highly contested in this country’s democratic history.

We believe that – given the global climate of heightened social and political polarization – a Free-and-Fair election is imperative to the stability and prosperity of a post-election South Africa.

This ideal is, however, being actively challenged by foreign and domestic actors – number of whom are already assiduously engaged in covert interference and misinformation campaigns.

The chaotic repercussions threaten to reverberate through public and private sector alike, across industries, across socio-economic divides, and across borders – it has already begun.

Who We Are

The Citizen Research and Dialogue Centres, along with the Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change, conduct detailed social media based research and analytics on social conversations. We foster national dialogue through the use of social media, advanced analytics, machine learning and AI to effect narrative and behavioural change. We only work with public-domain social media.

Together we are also partnered by The Prevention for Electoral Violence programme. This is collaboration between the South African Electoral Commission and the European Centre for Electoral Support. This programme will field 180 mediators that are able to respond to actionable information generated in near real time through our analysis of social media conversations.

How You Can Help


  • Citizen Funding

  • As a civil society organisation, nothing is more powerful than a mandate from the people.

    We believe that we have a part to play in our community, we serve and depend on this community to ensure that our work is relevant and impactful. As such, our research findings will always be public-domain and the advocacy tools we create will always be open-source.

    If you would like to support any of the projects we are currently working on, or would like to make a contribution to our work in general, please contact us or use one of the donation methods below.

    We are a registered NPO and receipts can be issued for tax-deduction purposes.

    PayPal Direct Donation Crowdfunding

    Contribute directly with your credit, debit, paypal, or bitcoin account:

    Please immediately advise us of any contributions made directly into our bank account:
    Banking Details
    Bank: Standard Bank
    Account #: 072629290
    Branch Code: 025109
    Swift: SBZAZAJJ

    Find our campaign on the following platforms:

    Fundraising with GoGetFunding



  • Active Citizen Community

  • At Citizen Dialogue Centre we define Active Citizens to be individuals who are empowered and informed about their rights, and protect these as diligently as they fulfill their associated responsibilities.

    From a practical perspective, Active Citizens are individuals who are already freely engaging the on issues faced by their communities.

    If you are an Active Citizen, please join our community by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

    Connect, engage and share with others in the community to help build a supportive, positive and informative environment, where dialogue and learning are valued higher than point scoring and virtue signalling.


  • Funding Partners

  • As an NPO, our survival and success depends on our funding partners.

    These organisations, foundations, philanthropic trusts and private sector stakeholders commit to providing funding to individual projects or for the NPOs discretion.

    Although we acknowledge that everyone carries some bias, we believe that our projects are in the interest of the broader society.

    To counter the possible perception of favour or manipulation, we are completely transparent about who our funding partners are, as we are in all our dealings with them.

    If you are interested in becoming a funding partner, or would like to know more about our funding partners, please contact us.


  • Organisational Collaboration

  • Although the Citizen Dialogue Centre team has a remarkably diverse skill set for such a small team, we firmly believe that collaboration with like-minded organisations is the key to success.

    With more than 120 000 registered NPOs in South Africa alone, the wasted effort through double-handling and information silos within this sector is not only frustrating, it is actually unacceptable.

    If the work your organisation does could benefit from the experience and information of Citizen Dialogue and Research Centres, or if your organisation has something to contribute to our work, please get in touch with us!

    Perhaps you aren’t sure exactly how we could collaborate, but there is enough alignment between our values and missions to make you curious – Great! We would love to chat to figure out how best we can support each other.

Pledges of support for this project

  • The South African Electoral Commission (IEC)
  • The Institute of Security Studies (the ISS)
  • The Human Sciences Research Council (the HSRC)
  • The National Convention of SA
  • Reimagine SA
  • The Southern African Dispute Resolution Agency (SADRA)

Listen to Prof Camaren Peter, Director at Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change, speak to John Maytham

How technology is making it easier to manipulate people

Click here to read or download the 07 Nov 2018 Press Release
Election Integrity 2019 - Press Release