UNNGOF Trains Observers to Monitor the Electoral Commission Voters’ Update Exercise

Published By UNNGOF |  May 12, 2020

In June 2019, the Uganda Electoral Commission (EC) issued a road map of its Electoral Milestones ahead of the 2021 General Elections. Among the key milestones include: Verification of the Voters register (Concluded), Update of the Voter Register (Happening between November 21 – December 11, 2019), Display of the Voters’ Register (It is expected that the findings of the monitoring exercise will inform the Display process)

The voter update register exercise is expected to start on Thursday, 21st November 2019 and end on December 11th 2019. During this period, the EC is expected to register and validate about 19.4 million voters.  This is consistent with the electoral guidelines and regulations. In spite of the significance of this exercise, consultations amongst stakeholders, reveal that most citizens are unaware of this exercise and unlikely to participate in the process.

UNNGOF is currently implementing a USAID funded program titled, “Strengthening Citizens’ Engagement in Elections”. Which avers to achieve meaningful citizens’ participation in Uganda’s electoral and governance processes. It is against this background that the Uganda National NGO Forum proposed an intervention designed as a participatory monitoring of the voter register process. On 21st November 2019, UNNGOF trained 50 observers from the Uganda Governance Monitoring Platform Stakeholders at regional Level, the SCENE Partners, the SPAN Partners to monitor the regional voter update exercise. The goal of this exercise is to generate empirical evidence on the efficacy and effectiveness of the EC voter register update process to inform stakeholder decisions.

The identified monitors were trained in the use of the tool equipped with smart phones for data transmission and how to conduct themselves in the field. A team of 12 national actors and experts were also identified to monitor the process for both quality control and high level qualitative data observations. They were provided with accreditation letters from Electoral Commission for identification.

The process will adopt a bottom up approach, with regional implementing partners coordinating, monitoring and collecting data to transmit upwards to national level data centre. Three individuals were identified per region to monitor the exercise for the 15days. The three individuals will be roving around different parishes where the exercise will be taking place and transmitting their findings to the national data centre using the tool and smart phones.

The observers agreed to commence monitoring of the process on 23rd November 2019. The other exercises will be systematic monitoring of the exercises to generate the relevant information.  The data will be transmitted to the national level for quantitative and qualitative analysis. A team of 6 stakeholders will hold a working meeting to conduct final analysis and consolidation of the process report. The report will be used for stakeholder engagements (media and the electoral commission) with a hope of improving the process.