January 30, 2023

2023: INEC Partners EU, DAI In Organizing Workshops For Commission’s Personnel On Election Monitoring, Effectiveness

By Akinwale Kasali
In furtherance to the forthcoming 2023 General Elections, electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is not resting on its oars for an effective, efficient, credible and free and fair elections.
The Commission has however organized a workshop for its personnels on Election Monitoring and Support Center, EMSC in the Northern Part of Nigeria, who are regarded as the Amber Zone Implementers at the State and National levels.
The workshop which is organized by INEC in collaboration with the Development Alternatives Incorporated, DAI and the European Union Support for Democratic Governance  in Nigeria, EUSDGN is targeted at reawakening and refocusing  for the accomplishment of all plans, programmes and strategies for a successful 2023 General Elect.
The event was held at the BWC Hotels in Victoria Island, Lagos, and it will be for Two Set of Participants . The first Batch is the Northern Zone holding between 23-24th January, 2023, while the second Participants are the Southern Zone scheduled for 26-27th January, 2023.
The Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje said that the EMSC is saddled with the responsibility of planning, proper monitoring and tracking of the planning mechanism and activities to be put in place for the smooth conduct of the forthcoming elections.
Agbaje stressed that the EMSC is pivotal and a proactive measure to reduce the area of difficulty during the elections and to ensure that everything goes according to plan.
The Special Adviser to INEC Chairman On EMSC, Prof. Mohammed Kuna, explained the role of  EMSC in the forthcoming elections.
He said that the EMSC is a planning, monitoring, implementation, early warning, and support system that enables the Commission to proactively plan, monitor and implement electoral activities.
Kuna said It is designed to provide election managers with a tool to visualize electoral activities as they are or should be implemented, through key performance indicators (or KPIs) and dashboards, it provides a real-time picture and assessment of field activities to enable election managers at various levels to identify risks to an election, helping to provide a level of visibility over field operations by helping to identify electoral risks or threats early enough in the planning and implementation of an election.
Speaking further, he said EMSC helps to provide support to field officers and activities in areas when and where such support may be required.
For the 2023 General Election, the National Level Amber Zone Implementers’ Workshop is the second of three planned training and implementation engagements.
The first he said was a series of meetings across the administrative zones of the Commission that brought together all Heads of Department where the operation of the EMSC was thoroughly discussed and reviewed towards the end of 2022.
He explained that the review provided significant inputs that redefined the EMSC Work Plan for the 2023 General Election as originally conceived. More specifically, the traditional trainings of the Amber and Red Zone normally conducted for Off-Cycle Elections were redesigned. Thus, this second of the three planned meetings focuses on the training of Administrative Secretaries, Heads of GAP, as well as the three Desk Officers of the EMSC to constitute a core of EMSC trainers for each of the 36 States and the FCT. This phase is for all the 19 States in the northern zone and the FCT. On the 26th of this month, the 17 States of the southern zone will be similarly trained.
The personnel assembled are expected, under the leadership of the Administrative Secretary to implement a training programme for EOs and other staff at the state level. The key objectives of the National Level Amber Zone Training are fives:
Understanding the Concept of the EMSC, its operational goals as well as data collection and reporting tools for the 2023 General Election; Enhancing the operational capacity of the State EMSC Secretariat and repositioning it for the collection and reporting of Amber and Red Zone activities for the 2023 General Election.
Other functions include; Enhancing compliance to the validation of reports to ensure data accuracy for focused and prompt decisions by the Commission;
d. Enhancing the EMSC’s communication flow and strategy for the general election; and Generating state level baseline readiness assessment for report for the entire state.
The training Prof. Rhoda Gumus, who is the Chairman on EMSC said it is crucial to the monitoring and implementation of the 2023 general election. Although work has been ongoing and the election is being implemented with several materials being delivered to state offices on a daily basis, we need to have a complete picture of the state of readiness state by state and local government by local government across the country.
The training is also targeted at providing both the Headquarters and state level, an opportunity, and the necessary tools to have clear assessment of the readiness statuses, as well as to have total control over all planned activities. Doing so frees up more time to deal with unplanned or unanticipated events that may arise during all elections everywhere.

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