INEC - ECES - Election Monitoring & Support Centre Retreat
ECES within the contest of the EU-SDGN programme is supporting INEC in the implementation of its strategic plans for the conduct of the 2019 General Elections.
The INEC/ECES partnership was evident at the Election Project Plan (EPP) Implementers Workshop that held February 2018 where the Commission unveiled the structure and processes for the implementation of the EPP and the formation of the Election Monitoring and Support Centre (EMSC) as the operational support framework to be used for tracking the implementation of the EPP.
Arising from the EPP Implementers Workshop, the Commission constituted the EMSC Committee to define the operational footprint of the EMSC, finalized on the EMSC platform design and setup the EMSC operational structure for the 2019 General Elections. The EMSC Committee having realized some of these objectives, proposed a stakeholders retreat to unveil the structure for the operationalization of the EMSC in the Commission for the 2019 General Elections in lead up to activation of the EMSC platform. This retreat held from 25 – 27 June 2018 at the Lagos Continental hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The primary objectives of the EMSC Implementers workshop were as follows:
- Familiarise the Commission with the structure and operation of the EMSC at both HQ and States;
- Familiarise the Commission with the EMSC Checklist and data requirements;
- Adapt the Election Project Plan State Specific Plans in line with the broad framework of the EMSC Checklist and operational requirements;
- Familiarise the Commission with the EMSC Platform, its main features and requirements;
- Familiarise the Commission with the structure and operations of the EMSC’s communication flow; and
- Establish the State EMSC Secretariats.
The retreat had in attendance the INEC Chairman, all the National Commissioners and Directors from the Headquarters, The Resident Electoral Commissioners from the States, the Technical Aides to the INEC Chairman and a team of Secretariat/rapporteurs and medical staffs from the INEC headquarters as well as the media.
The Opening address was given by the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu who acknowledge the presence and support of ECES for organizing the retreat and also appreciated the attendance of participants from the Headquarters and the State offices. The Chairman underscored the importance of the retreat in view of the fact that the General Elections was 235 days away and the need to ensure the mechanism to support the implementation of election plans is fully operational through the instrumentation of the EMSC. The INEC Chairman enjoined participants to learn and contribute the during the course of the retreat.
The Planning, Monitoring and Strategic Committee (PMSC) Chairman, Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu in his keynote address detailed the importance of a knowledge driven electoral process and outlined 6 areas; 1. Innovative thinking, 2. systematic process of knowledge building, 3. Meticulous planning, 4. Conscientious implementation of plans, 5. Effective support monitoring and evaluation system, and 6. Feedback program process. The Professor positioned the EMSC as the strategy of the Commission for effective support monitoring and evaluation system for the delivery of the 2019 General Elections which would involve the deployment of tools and systems.
The presentation on the proposed platform design was conducted by the Director ICT. The Director unveiled the scope of the platform design which had in focus development of dashboard analytic, Mobile App for data collection and the expanded functionality of WhatsApp user group. The tools to be developed is designed to support the operational efforts of the EMSC in data collection, data processing, analysis and reporting for the various timelines. The Director also displayed the chart that shows the user roles, access rights and privileges.
The Commission appreciated the support of ECES and IFES for organizing the retreat which has created some interaction, awareness and better understanding on the EMSC platform among the stakeholders. It is expected that at the EMSC Committee would implement the work plan in cognizance of the inputs made at the retreat, in making the platform operational.