Updates: INEC’s Electoral Risk Management (ERM) Tool
Precisely last quarter of 2014, INEC in collaboration with African Union and International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) Sweden held a one-day workshop for INEC officials and relevant stakeholders. Core deliberation at the workshop was the implementation of Electoral Risk Management (ERM), with greater possibilities of increasing the chances of not only free, fair and credible election come 2015 but also peaceful and violent free General election in Nigeria.
Here are the updates on ERM:
WHAT IS ELECTORAL RISK MANAGEMENT?
Electoral Risk Management (ERM) entails a systematic effort to identify, understand and assess risks that could affect the integrity of electoral processes followed by a coordinated undertaking to initiate timely and well informed prevention and miligation actions. Risk include legal, operational, technical, political, security but in particular those risks that could trigger incidents of election-related violence.
WHAT IS THE ELECTORAL RISK MANAGEMENT TOOL?
The ERM Tool is designed to empower those who either have the mandate or interest to ensure that elections are peaceful and credible. The ERMT aims to build users’ capacity to understand, analyse and mitigate electoral risks, in particular those that may turn violent.
The tool is a software application which integrates three modules:
- Knowledge resources: a digital library that allows users to learn about risk factors internal to and external to the electoral process.
- Analytical Instruments; an analysis platform that enables users to create models, draw risk maps, examine trends and create a register of risks and actions.
- Prevention & Miligation: a module composed of 100 comparative action points for the prevention and miligation of electoral violence using a three-layered approach to improve
(i) electoral management and justice
(ii) Electoral security
(iii) Infrastructure for peace.
The ERMT was developed and launched as a global public good by international IDEA in October 2013.
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF ERM IN NIGERIA?
Election-related violence was identified as a key challenge to delivering credible electoral processes in INEC’s Strategic Plan 2012-2016. As part of its continous efforts to improve the electoral process, the INEC decided to adopt the ERM Tool with the goal of reducing the risk of election-related violence.
WHEN DID INEC ADOPT THE USE OF THE TOOL?
INEC began using the ERMT in December 2013 when it conducted a workshop to map electoral risks across the country. Since then, the tool was piloted during the various gubernatorial elections held in 2014 with a view to expanding the use of the tool ahead of the 2015 general elections.
WHAT METHODOLOGY HAS INEC APPLIED IN USING TOOL?
INEC worked closely with security agencies, civil society and academics to establish a context overview and map electoral risks in Nigeria. Using this baseline, INEC development an operational plan for data collection & analysis.
HOW IS INEC IMPLEMENTING THE TOOL?
INEC has created ano Electional Risk Management hub located at INEC headquaters in Abuja FCT. Dedicated staff member carry out a variety of tasks on a day-to-day basis.
The ERM team collection risk data from multiple sources including INEC field officers, INEC Citizens Contact Centre (ICCC), INEC Elections Support Centre, Security agencies, Civil Society Organisations, election Observers, the media and ERM State desk officers.
GENERATING RISK ALERTS
The team enters data into the software application enabling it to conduct analysis, generate risk alerts containing maps, trend charts and other information.
PREVENTION & MILIGATION ACTIONS
Risk alerts are entered into a risk and action register. The alerts created by the ERM team are then transmitted to INEC commisioners and relevant directorates along with recommendations fro corrective measures to miligate and prevent the risk from affecting the credibility of the electoral process. INEC coordinates its response with security agencies and civil society when appropriate.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ERM BENEFITS?
- Serves as an early-warning system
- Informs decision making on the allocation of resources and security personnel
- Promotes coordination between INEC, security agencies and other stakeholders
- Supports the Prevention of election-related violence.
HOW CAN YOU BE PART OF ERM?
You can be a part of ERM by contacting the ERM team to provide relevant information regarding electoral risks.