Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, took delivery of technology tools to enhance results management process, accuracy, and the commission’s operational effectiveness.
The tools, which were facilitated by Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI), sought to respond to specific challenges encountered in implementation of electoral activities.
Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while speaking during handover of the tools in Abuja, said they offer innovative solutions that could foster efficiency, speed, due diligence, and trust in the electoral process.
He said the tools were not specifically designed for a particular electoral cycle, hence their suitability for future elections and electoral activities.
Yakubu explained that the tools were designed to address thematic areas, which include; enhancing and strengthening planning and operational capacities; improving the commission’s internal communication and external engagements with stakeholders; enhancing the electoral institute’s capacity for training and research; assisting in improvement of legal and policy frameworks for the conduct of elections; and enhancing the development and incorporation of technological innovations.
He said within the current electoral cycle, DAI has provided support towards capacity building, technical assistance, and printing of non-sensitive reports and information flyers.
Yakubu noted: “We are glad that today, some of the tools developed in collaboration with DAI are being handed over to the commission. Among these are: the Collation and Returning Officers Management System (CROMS), intended to streamline, simplify and enhance the security, reliability and credibility of the recruitment process for collation and returning officers;
“The Election Results Management System (ERMS), which seeks to ensure a better results management process, enhance accuracy and create a repository of election results, was something envisaged by Section 62 (1) and (2) of the Electoral Act, 2022.”
The chairman said other tools are: “The Media Monitoring and Analysis Tool, intended to enhance the commission’s capacity to filter media coverage of the commission; and the Political Parties Financial Reporting and Audit System (PFRAS), which seeks to assist the commission in monitoring political party finance more efficiently and effectively.”
Yakubu pointed out that in developing the tools, DAI consultants worked closely with the technical team and direct staff of the commission.
He said: “In fact, the support to INEC under EU-SDGN Phase II covers the period 2022-2027, traversing two electoral cycles (2023 and 2027) and includes support to the National Assembly and the judiciary, political parties, the media, civil society organisations and the promotion of inclusivity (women, youth and persons with disability).
“The commission will closely examine these tools, with a view to adopting or tweaking them, where necessary, to meet the immediate and emergent challenges in the conduct of elections.”