Guide to the data: Burkina Elections 2015 #BurkinaVote #LwiliVote

Liz Carolan
Nov 29, 2015 · 2 min read

*Update: you can read a write up of what happened next in this article I wrote for the Guardian in the days after this was originally posted.*

This post contains links to data resources for those following the Burkina Faso presidential election 2015— including to real time results and election observation information, plus to public domain boundaries data.

Today (Sunday Nov 29th) Burkina Faso will have its “first election since last year’s popular uprising which toppled longstanding president Blaise Compaore.” (See BBC, France 24, Reuters). Data is playing a role in the process, and I’ve pulled together a list of links that those following throughout the next day or two might might find helpful — including links to openly licensed results data. is the application that will display and visualise real-time results data as it is received and verified by the election commission (“CENI”). It is being run by the Burkina Open Data Initiative, which is run out of the Government agency in charge of promoting ICT (ANPTIC) (with support from my team at ODI via the OD4D Network). Results are expected from 9pm GMT (but may well be delayed).

Boundaries data: available here — as a JSON file containing data that provides names, identifiers, and boundaries for each province. The data is originally from, whose terms of use state that their data is public domain, meaning “no permission is needed to use Natural Earth. Crediting the authors is unnecessary” — but if you’d like to, there is info in their terms of use.*

Results as open data by district & by candidate: results data feeding the Burkina2015 application will be available as simple open APIs, licensed as open data with CC 4.0, so free for anyone to use to build their own visualisation, insights etc. This data is in two google docs that will be updated as results come in: there is one with results by town and one with results by candidate. (@BurkinaVote) is a an election monitoring platform that is giving real time information from their observers — including (to the best of my knowledge) a parallel vote count. They are recording, for example this tweet, live information on which polling stations opened on time. Their “about us” page explains that they are a collection of civil society organisations called CODEL, and that it will have information on (my translation): “important aspects of the conduct of the voting process, including the opening of polling stations, voting operations, turnout, closing time, counting, vote buying, and other critical incidents.” It also mentions that it will have “les résultats sans oublier les cas de violences” — which I believe means both results information and information on any cases of violence.

UPDATE: RTB (National Broadcaster) is screen-grabbing the official results from and posting them here — handy for when the site crashes:

Wishing everyone a peaceful process!

UPDATE: on boundaries data — I have been told that Geonames also has data — here’s Burkina:, and here’s the administrative hierarchy: , boundaries for each region and province.

Liz Carolan

Written by

Exec Director of Digital Action, founder of Transparent Referendum Initiative.