Washington, DC – IRI received an Industry Award from Speech Technology magazine for its use of interactive voice response (IVR) technology to collect real-time information on the electoral process of elections the Institute monitors. IRI was recognized in the implementation category.

During elections that IRI observes, monitoring teams comprised of international delegates are deployed throughout the country.  Each team is given a cellular or satellite phone along with a short questionnaire of key questions that will help IRI gauge the voting process at each polling station visited.

 When delegates call into the IVR system they enter the answer to each question by pressing the corresponding number on the phone.  The answers are then collected into a database, which collectively give a precise account of the overall electoral process throughout the country.

For those instances where a listed answer was not sufficient to describe what was being observed, delegates leave a detailed voicemail to give context to the answers they provided.  Those voicemail messages are instantly sent via e-mail to IRI’s election observation command center where they are listened to and incorporated into the overall findings.

Through the use of this technology, IRI is able to collect quantitative data that enables the Institute to confidently release its findings soon after the elections, and thus provide U.S. policy makers and local citizens with additional information to judge the validity of the country’s electoral process.

Awards are presented to individuals and companies for extraordinary efforts made to increase benefits, acceptance and adoption of speech technologies and for outstanding accomplishments in bringing new products and services to the marketplace.  The awards were announced by Speech Technology magazine during its 14th Annual SpeechTEK Conference and Exposition in New York. 

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