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Sierra Leone: Conducted Post-Election Training of Data Entry Clerks

Training session in Freetown for seventeen data entry clerks. Photo Credit: International IDEA

On September 22, 2023, International IDEA and the National Election Watch (NEW) held a training session in Freetown for seventeen data entry clerks, to execute a post-election Data Entry exercise for NEW.

Following the June 24 2023, Sierra Leone’s elections, NEW gathered checklists and incident forms that served as the foundation for observing election day, courtesy of its 5,000 vigilant observers stationed in sampled polling stations across the nation. NEW is currently in the process of developing a comprehensive election report, and as part of the preparatory process, will require data from all checklists to be entered into a statistical software, data cleaned and analysed before the organization commences with the report writing

Mawusi Dumenu, Programme Officer, Elections at International IDEA, expressed the Institute’s  dedication to this collaborative effort, stating, "International IDEA is collaborating with NEW to recruit and train 17 data entry clerks, an IT expert, or data analyst, and to conduct data entry for all 5,000 checklists and incident forms." Mawusi further encourages the Data Entry Clerks “to be diligent in their work and view the data entry as a national exercise that will contribute to strengthening Sierra Leone’s democracy since the outcome of the exercise will feed into NEW’s observation report, which will, in turn, help the organization to proffer recommendations that can inform electoral reforms going forward.”

International IDEA's support for NEW transcended the post-election phase. Even prior to the elections, it supported NEW, providing unwavering support for its sampled-based Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) observation methodology. This election observation methodology was used to independently assess the official results of the presidential elections held on June 24, 2023, adding a robust layer of transparency to the process.

Badriatu Turay Alghali, Quality Assurance Officer of NEW, conveyed her gratitude towards International IDEA, emphasizing the profound impact of their enduring partnership. She stated, "We deeply cherish your unwavering support. International IDEA has been a steadfast partner, supporting NEW, not only during the June 24 Sierra Leone National Election but before and after as well."

On June 24, NEW deployed 750 PVT observers and an additional 5,000 election day observers, strategically positioned across all 16 districts of the country to sampled polling stations. These tireless efforts were aimed at fortifying electoral integrity and credibility in Sierra Leone.

Through the Sierra Leone Democracy Strengthening project, funded by the European Union, International IDEA played a pivotal role in supporting NEW. The contributions spanned from providing support for observing the distribution of voter registration identity cards to procuring 760 tablets to aid with timely and efficient data capture by PVT designated observers. Furthermore, NEW held two methodology sessions aimed at enhancing the understanding of the PVT methodology among electoral stakeholders and the public. In addition, a consultant was also deployed to provide technical support to NEW's data center operations and strategic communications. Despite the election has ended, International IDEA remained steadfast in its commitment to supporting NEW. The ongoing collaboration extends into the post-election phase.

One of the participants in the training, Mohamed Tarawally, shared his perspective on the workshop, remarking, "The training has been truly wonderful, and I have gained valuable insights into data collection and entry. This knowledge is invaluable as we will be using it to input critical data for NEW. The skills we have acquired here will undoubtedly play a pivotal part in our role as data entry clerks."

Meanwhile, International IDEA remains a stalwart partner to NEW. Its commitment echoes in the ongoing preparations for NEW's comprehensive election report, which will eventually shape recommendations and proposals for future reforms, heralding a brighter and more transparent democratic future for Sierra Leone.


About the authors

Alfred Fornah
Communications Officer
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