By Oladotun Olumuyiwa
Independent National Electoral Commission held yet another workshop on Electoral Risk Management (ERM) in Abuja. The workshop which took place today, November 24, 2014 at the Main Auditorium, The Electoral Institute, Abuja was a follow up workshop to the two workshops previously held by INEC earlier this year.
The workshop is an important step toward enhancing the efficiency of the INEC’s new project which is EMR, this is in collaboration with International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), Sweden and African Union (AU). The workshop was themed “Workshop of Experts On Election Risks Management”. This is in preparatory to 2015 General election in Nigeria. ERM has been identified as an effective procedure to tackle the problems of election related violence globally and it has worked in countries Nepal and Kenya elections respectively.
According to Nicholas Mattatu, Programmer Officer, International IDEA, he described ERM as a systematic efforts to forestall all envisaged election related violence that may occur during the electoral process through the effective use of ERM Tool. He said, International IDEA took strategic decision in 2008 toward addressing wide range of election related violence globally.
He posited that ERM Tool aims to help building user’s capacity to understand, analsyze, prevent and mitigate electoral risks, in particular those that may trigger or contribute to triggering election-related violence. He explained further that ERM Tool is developed as a desktop software application that can work without internet access or computer networks. It allows the user to export, import or delete analytical models. Maps can be within the model and exported as high-resolution pictures or KML files that are Google Earth-compatible.
Ultimately, outputs generated by analytical instruments can present complex and multi-layered risk data in a simple and user-friendly format. Mr Mattatu alluded that ERM is a bit complementary to Ushaidi platform, a crowd sourcing platform used in Kenya’s 2007 and 2012 election, although the procedure ERM is targeted at managing risks and getting feedbacks from specific groups during the election across the country.
Furthermore, INEC ERM Tool Team Coordinator explained that for ERM tool to effectively used, it should be customised in a given country and electoral context. Customisation entails identification of factors which could represent risks to electoral processes in different phases of the electoral cycle and in different regions.
August 2014 workshop has reportedly prepared the INEC officials for the pilot ERM Tool used in Osun State during its last election which was great sucess he affirmed.