The ELMO Initiative

ELMO logoELMO is The Carter Center’s open-source ELection MOnitoring data collection and reporting system, built specifically with election monitoring in mind. Equipped with ELMO, observers can submit evaluations of a process – via tablets (utilizing Open Data Kit), SMS, or directly online – in real-time to mission headquarters. ELMO’s reporting system organizes observer findings, and is relied upon by The Carter Center missions around the globe to analyze data and to assess elections as well as broader political processes. 

The ELMO Initiative, a collaboration between The Institute for Developing Nations, The Laney Graduate School, and The Carter Center’s Democracy Program, makes ELMO available as a research tool to Emory faculty, graduate students, and staff. The ELMO Initiative brings together a community of scholars and practitioners who are engaged in field research on a wide range of social issues, particularly in low-income countries. The Initiative includes a fellowship for an advanced doctoral student, pre-dissertation funding, a speaker series, and workshops focused on using ELMO to conduct field research.  

Learn more about ELMO

Using Data Collection Technology in Your Fieldwork: Negotiating Trust, Challenges, and Intimacy

April 12, 2017: A panel discussion with Rachel Harmon, Prof. Carol Worthman, and Kathy Trang moderated by Siti Sarah Muwahidah discussed their field research experiences using ELMO. They discussed how the relationship between ethics and research is rapidly changing as researchers in the field how researchers are now expected to invest in the societies they benefited from through their research. Through their experiences in the field, the speakers illustrated the many ways they not only were able to conduct substantive research using ELMO, but were also able to contribute back on a long-term and immediate basis. Read more. 

ELMO: Real Time Quantitative and Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis for Your Field Research

January 24, 2017: An introduction to ELMO and how this data collection and reporting system tool can be used in research in the field of the humanities, social sciences, public health, and others. Read more.

ELMO: Real Time Quantitative and Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis for Your Field Research

November 10, 2016: An introduction to ELMO and how this data collection and reporting system tool can be used in research in the field of the humanities, social sciences, public health, and others. Read more.

ELMO in the Field: A Participant-Driven Mapping of Psychosocial Risk Among Vietnamese MSM

November 7, 2016: An event on how ELMO was used in documenting Biocultural Anthropology Field Research in Hanoi, Vietnam with IDN funded, Emory University PhD student, Kathy Trang. Read more.

ELMO 2

February 18, 2016: Given the level of interest in ELMO at Emory, The Institute for Developing Nations, in collaboration with Emory’s Laney Graduate School and The Carter Center’s Democracy Program, will be awarding pre-dissertation grants for graduate students to use ELMO in their field research. Details on these pre-dissertation awards will be posted in the spring semester. Read more.

ELMO 1

December 2, 2015: Participants tried out ELMO and tested its capabilities using a sample mission.This event helped faculty and graduate students better understand ELMO’s features and how the tool can be used for data collection and analysis in their own field research. Read more.

ELMO 2

October 21, 2015: ELMO is an open-source data collection and reporting system that is available to Emory faculty and students. The system is specifically designed for research on elections, conflict, human rights, and health in developing nations. This even provided an introduction to ELMO and this tool can be used for research projects. Read more.

ELMO is The Carter Center’s open-source ELection MOnitoring data collection and reporting system, specifically designed for low-infrastructure environments.  Equipped with ELMO, observers can submit evaluations of a process – via tablets (utilizing Open Data Kit), SMS, or directly online – in real-time to mission headquarters. ELMO’s reporting system organizes observer findings, and is relied upon by The Carter Center missions around the globe to analyze data and to assess elections as well as broader political processes. ELMO is not limited to election observation; it can be used for research in any field of study including conflict, human rights, and health in developing nations to facilitate data collection, analysis, communication, and reporting. For more information about ELMO see http://getelmo.org/.

The ELMO Initiative is a partnership between the Institute for Developing Nations, Emory’s Laney Graduate School, and The Carter Center’s Democracy Program to make ELMO available to students, faculty, and staff at Emory.  Doctoral students who wish to use ELMO for pre-dissertation fieldwork in developing countries may apply for IDN funding.

ELMO Initiative Graduate Fellowship

This is a one academic year annual fellowship for advanced doctoral students in the Laney Graduate School sponsored by the Institute for Developing Nations, Emory’s Laney Graduate School, and The Carter Center’s Democracy Program.  The fellow will be a resource on the ELMO tool for the Emory community; coordinate a speaker/discussion series exploring research on assessing and measuring election quality; and participate in sessions on the methodological and technological design of election monitoring tools and data. 

The application deadline is March 14th for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Learn more and apply

ELMO Pre-Dissertation Funding

This summer funding is available for doctoral students in the Laney Graduate School who would like to use ELMO in their pre-dissertation field research.  Awards range from $2000 - $3500 depending on the kind of opportunity involved (short-term vs. summer, location of field work). IDN grants may be combined with other Emory funding as long as total Emory funding does not exceed $5000. Students may use IDN funds toward the cost of international airfare, housing, food, local transportation, visas and vaccinations.  Students may receive funding from IDN only one time.

Applicants for summer funding are required to attend the Global Health Institute course focusing on cultural sensitivity, health, and safety issues before working abroad (www.globalhealth.emory.edu)

The application deadline is February 1st for summer 2017.
Applications for short-term learning opportunities must be received no later than three weeks prior to the proposed departure date.

Learn more and apply

ELMO Initiative Graduate Fellowship

The ELMO Initiative Graduate Fellow serves as a resource on the ELMO tool for the Emory community; coordinates a speaker/discussion series exploring research on assessing and measuring election quality; and participates in sessions on the methodological and technological design of election monitoring tools and data. 

2016-2017 Fellow

Siti Sarah Muwahidah

Doctoral student, Graduate Division of Religion

Siti Sarah Muwahidah

Originally from Indonesia, Muwahidah is a doctoral student in the Graduate Division of Religion. She sees herself a scholar-activist concentrating on religion in West and South Asia. Her research focuses on Sunni and Shia conflict and coexistence in Indonesia. Muwahidah’s dissertation, “For the Love of Ahl al-Bayt: Negotiating Shi’ism in Indonesia,” explores how Indonesian Shiites and Sunnis attempt to reduce the discord between the two communities in their everyday lives. She also examines how the religious defamation law of Indonesia (UUno.1/PNPS/1965), which is often used to justify the discrimination and persecution of religious minorities, often trumps the Indonesian constitution’s protection of religious freedom. Read more.


2015-2016 Inaugural ELMO Initiative Graduate Fellow

Grant Buckles, PhD Student in Political Science

Laney Graduate School, 2015

Grand Buckles

The first ELMO Initiative Fellow, Grant Buckles, specializes in the study of elections, political parties, and political mobilization in the developing world. His dissertation analyzes the role of opposition mobilization and organizational development in bringing about more competitive elections. While at Emory, Grant has conducted field research in South Africa. He has also been an instructor and teaching assistant for classes on political mobilization in hybrid regimes, comparative politics, and research methods. He graduated from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and French Language & Literature.

IDN pre-dissertation funding to use ELMO for field research

Rachel A. Harmon

Doctoral student, Political Science Graduate Program

Rachel A. Harmon

Recipient of the IDN pre-dissertation funding to use ELMO for field research, summer 2016

Rachel Harmon spent three weeks at the border of Nepal and India to set up a system to collect data on the trafficking of women and girls. Free for Life International (FFLI), an NGO working to eliminate the human trafficking of women and girls, invited Harmon to lead a project to redraft surveys given to possible sex- trafficking victims by border- monitoring staff. The survey used ELMO and help determine its capacity to collect and analyze data on human trafficking. Read more.


Kathy Trang

Doctoral student, Anthropology Graduate Program

Kathy Trang

Recipient of the IDN pre-dissertation funding to use ELMO for field research, summer 2016

Kathy Trang spent three months in Hanoi, Vietnam conducting research on migrant male sex workers. She worked with the public health team at Song Hanh Phuc, a collaborating HIV/AIDS clinic at Hanoi Medical University. As Hanoi experienced rapid economic growth, men moved to this area to uphold their traditional role of being pillars of the family. Lacking the skills to compete in this new economy, some were driven into sex work. Because sex work is negatively viewed, they have become marginalized and stigmatized. Trang’s pilot study used ELMO and My Tracks, an Android GPS logger, to examine the marginalization of male sex workers in Hanoi.  Read more.