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Evaluating the ERMTool in Nigeria

June 25, 2015

On June 23, the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC) organized a workshop in Abuja to evaluate the impact of the Electoral Risk Management Tool during the recent general elections. For over a year now, INEC has been implementing the ERMTool with technical and advisory support from International IDEA and the African Union.

The workshop was the final activity planned under the current project and aimed to assess the impact the project and to make recommendations for the future of electoral risk management at INEC. It brought together INEC commissioners and officials from headquarters, INEC ERM state desk officers from each of the six geopolitical zones, representatives from four different security sector agencies that were part of the Inter Consultative Committee on Electoral Security (ICCES) as well as civil society organizations, academics and the international community including representatives from the Dutch Embassy (the main donor) and the Swiss Embassy (IDEA Chair).

The workshop was officially opened by Attahiru Jega in one of his final acts as chairman of the INEC – his mandate ends on June 30. He thanked IDEA and the other partners for accompanying INEC during the electoral process.

Africa Regional Director Adebayo Olukoshi also spoke during the opening ceremony and commended INEC for its role in helping bring about an historic transition in Nigeria.

The morning session was dedicated to lessons learned from the project and participants worked in groups to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the project with regards to the projects four main objectives: improving INEC’s understanding of electoral violence; strengthening INEC’s capacity to collect and analyze electoral risk data; improving INEC’s coordination with electoral stakeholders; and enhancing INEC’s understanding of the outcomes of prevention/mitigation actions.

The afternoon session was dedicated to the future of electoral risk management within INEC. The session was opened with a presentation by IDEA’s Nicholas Matatu on Electoral Risk Management frameworks around the world before participants deliberated on the future of ERM in Nigeria.

A number of recommendations were developed for the incoming INEC Chair to consider, but the participants overwhelmingly recommended that ERM be institutionalized, with permanent staff dedicated to manning an ERM unit at both the national level and in each of Nigeria’s 36 states. The recommendations will all be included in the final project report due to be completed in the next month.

The “Preventing Conflict and Electoral Violence in Nigeria” project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the African Union and the Government of Norway through the JAP programme being implemented by International IDEA.

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