In the last decade EMBs have increasingly relied on the use of Information Technologies in Electoral processes to improve the accuracy, security and integrity of electoral processes desiring to build confidence in the election’s outcome.
This rise has been particularly noticeable when applied to voter registration and result management and more recently through the introduction of electronic voting.
The idea behind the organization of the workshop was to give electoral management bodies (EMBs), UNDP Country Offices, European Union Delegations, Donors, as well as other stakeholders (IFES, EISA) and civil society the opportunity to share their experiences and lessons learned, and provide participants with comparative information and data, indicative analysis of timelines and costs, allowing them to make an informed decision about and around the possible introduction of technology in electoral processes, and to effectively evaluate the choices available.
More specifically, it reviewed comparatively the use of ICTs in civil and voter registration with a particular focus on the sustainability and effective use of biometrics-recognition systems.
The workshop analyzed possible synergies between civil registration and voter registration, census and other statistical. It therefore tackled the controversial topic of E-Voting, clearing out possible advantages and disadvantages.
Finally the workshop drew attention to ICT related to results management.
As such and in response to the above the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) together with the European Union jointly organized a Thematic Workshop held in Mombasa, Kenya from 5 to the 9 March 2012 hosted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of Kenya that gathered over 230 electoral practitioners from over 60 countries to discuss these issues in an open manner without representatives of the vendor community to reflect and assess freely the impact, successes, failures related to the introduction of ICT in electoral process in the past decade.
The workshop adopted a mixed methodology of theory and practice whereby morning sessions looked at general principles and theories while afternoon sessions were dedicated to country-specific case studies.
As such 22 case studies were presented in group sessions and 32 presentations presented in morning plenary sessions.
Presentation of EISA publication “Voter Registration in Africa”Robert Gerenge, Programme Officer for Elections and Political Processes at the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA)
General principles/aims for VR and Key operational tasks for all VR systemsJoram Rukambe, UNDP Regional Electoral Advisor, UNDP Global Programme for Electoral Cycle Support (GPECS)
South SudanDr. Woda Jago, Assistant Professor at Dr. John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology; Ajay Patel, Voter Registration and ICT Advisor, UNSMIL Libya
Wider policy environment Digital Citizen DocumentationNiall McCann Senior Electoral Advisor, EC-UNDP Joint Task Force on Electoral Assistance (JTF)
Linkages with civil registry and other potential or existing national databasesKarine Sahli-Majira, Démographe indépendant
Strategic planning for effective electoral management
Antonio Spinelli, Chief of Party International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) Egypt
Planning the introduction of high-tech VR systems
Clement Aganahi, ICT Independent Expert
Is ICT a factor that diminishes the likelihood of violence?
Richard Atwood, Director of Research at International Crisis Group (ICG)
Dismas Ong’ondi, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Kenya
Procuring EVR material, challenges, risks, costs
Victor Margall von Hegyeshalmy, Procurement Specialist, UNDP/Procurement Support Office
Operational challenges implementation
Brown Kasaro, Head of IT Electoral Commission Zambia
Abdoul Sy Sady, Chef cellule informatique du Ministère de l’Administration Territoriale et des Collectivités Locales (MATCL)
Ayodhee Prasad Yadav, Election Commissioner, Election Commission of Nepal
Chidi Nwafor, Director of INEC’s ICT Department Nigeria
Faycal Sboui, Directeur Commission Nationale Indépendante Tunisia
Iurie Ciocan, Chairman, Central Election Commission of Moldova
Conducting feasibility StudiesRonan McDermott, ICT Expert EC-UNDP Joint Task Force on Electoral Assistance (JTF)
GhanaFranklin Oduro, Head of Research and Programs/ Deputy Director Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana