Group photograph of the 2018 New Commissioners' Orientation participants held in Lilongwe in April 2018. Photo credit: Chris Sekani (HAAG Photo Graphics)
Professional electoral administrators are key to delivering well-organized, credible and genuine elections. Electoral management bodies (EMBs) perform best when their leadership has thorough understanding of the mechanics, principles and good practices in electoral administration.
In Africa, EMBs are struggling to bring the capacities of commissioners and senior staff to the desired level—a difficulty compounded by fixed-term appointments and other challenges that commissions face in the discharge of their mandate. Despite strong credentials in their previous positions, newly appointed commissioners often lack knowledge of key issues in electoral administration.
In this context, the Electoral Commissions’ Forum of SADC Countries (ECF-SADC) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) have joined hands to promote capacity strengthening of senior election officials through the delivery of the annual New Commissioners Orientation (NCO), which has been running since 2012.
From 20-23 November 2018, a special edition of the orientation will take place for newly appointed Commissioners from the National Electoral Commission (NEC) of Tanzania and the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) in Zanzibar. The orientation will introduce and engage newly appointed election officials on the principles and good practices in the electoral field and equip them with knowledge and skills to carry out their responsibilities with integrity, professionalism, transparency and accountability. This edition of the orientation is being supported by GIZ.