In March, TMG observers across Nigeria tested systems that were used on election day to independently verify election results. Using coded text messages, the observers sent massive amounts of data to a national information center for analysis. Credit: TMG-Nigeria
Nigerians went to the polls last month to choose their next president. The outcome was a largely peaceful transition of power between the ruling and opposition parties, and technology played a key role.
Bosnia-Herzegovina’s journey from the Dayton Peace Accords to sustainable democracy has rested on the notion that ethnic power-sharing and highly decentralized government would, over time, give way to more integrated forms of government and politics. Ethnic interests, though still primary, would cease to be the exclusive basis on which power is won and exercised. Other forms of association – environmental, business, labor, students and pensioners, etc. – transcending ethnicity would take their place in the political system.
Guided by the principle that timely and reliable information about electoral preparations and early warning signs can mitigate the spread of electoral violence, Nigerian Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM) member Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) launched a unique Pre-Election Observation, PREO, ahead of the nation’s long-anticipated general elections.
New democracies often get stuck when fair elections, active civic groups, independent media, party competition and constitutional checks on power still don’t produce better government. Instead, corruption, political conflict and other problems can fester and upend the notion that democracy does in fact make life better.
This is the situation in Albania, which ditched communism in 1990. While making huge strides in the 25 years since, Albania nonetheless is mired in bad politics that leaves people wondering if its new democratic order can make government function as it should.
Presenting the analysis of election day observation to the right audience is a critical component of citizen monitoring organizations’ outreach strategies, and one of which NDI has provided technical assistance to partners on for decades. In some countries where NDI works, Facebook has become synonymous with the Internet, and the use of Facebook for election day outreach has become an increasingly useful tool for communicating with certain audiences.