For the federal and provincial elections, the Election Commission of Nepal (ECN) will be using a new IT system called ‘Integrated Election Information Management System’, which ECN itself developed to integrate its Election Result Information System, its Event Tracking System and a help desk.
Explaining the capabilities of the system, Mr. Laxmi Prasad Yadav, Joint Secretary and the head of the ECN IT Management Division, elaborates:
“The system is going to be a great tool in the whole electoral operation, from data storage to accessing and updating them to generating reports through a web-based application. Therefore the capacity of concerned staff has to be upgraded accordingly to bring uniformity and efficiency to their work performance”.
For this purpose, ECN launched a dedicated training cascade focused on training staff on the system. It is implemented with the support of ESP and saw a total of 260 computer operators in the 75 ECN District Electoral Offices trained.
Ms. Seema Yadav, the District Electoral Officer of Saptari district who participated in the training, was happy to be given solutions to some of the issues and constraints she faced during local elections. She also suggested that it would be better for the training to be conducted after the completion of the development of the software module.
“As they are still under development, we could only practice on a demo version” she shared.
Mr. Shyam Kumar Rai, a participant from Dolpa felt excited about the opportunity to upgrade his IT knowledge. A major challenge he saw for the incorporation of IT systems in the electoral process is communication. In the area where he works, telephone connectivity is still poor.
Throwing light on an additional benefit of the training, Mr. Ajay Kumar Mishra, the District Election Officer of Bajhang district, said, “This training has definitely passed IT knowledge to the local staff, but it has also created an informal group whose members can exchange information on IT related issues and solutions with each other. This will help in solving technical issues and have a positive impact on the elections.”
Photo Credits: UNDP Nepal
The Electoral Support Project- Phase II (ESP) is a technical assistance initiative which focuses on a long-term institutional and professional capacity development of the Election Commission (ECN) for conducting credible, inclusive and transparent elections at a national. The objectives of the project are 1) to strengthen the capacity of the ECN to function as an independent and credible institution, 2) to allow the conduct of the election cycle in an effective, sustainable, and credible manner, and 3) to increase democratic participation, particularly for under-represented and disadvantaged segments of the Nepali society. ESP is currently funded by EU and Norway.