Data-Driven Citizen Observation of Electoral Processes
Under EECSP, NDI is providing technical assistance to the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Nigeria’s premier citizen observation organization, to deploy a statistical observation method known as parallel vote tabulation, or PVT, during the 2015 elections and to carry out systematic, structured pre-election observation. Under NDI’s previous program, TMG conducted a PVT during the 2011 general elections and more than a dozen subsequent gubernatorial elections. In June 2014, TMG conducted a PVT observation in Ekiti State’s off-cycle election. Since Nigeria's 1999 transition from military to civilian rule, NDI has worked closely with civic and political organizations to support the development of the country's democratic institutions.
In preparation for the 2015 polls, TMG has provided extensive training to its membership structures at the national, state and local levels to prepare for a nation-wide PVT during the presidential election scheduled for March 28, 2015. TMG will deploy observers to a representative sample of polling units located in every state and every local government area of Nigeria to verify official results for the 2015 presidential election.
NDI has also supported TMG to develop a comprehensive communication and outreach strategy to inform citizens and other critical electoral stakeholders about the PVT as a means to independently verify election results and to build confidence in the electoral process. Part of this strategy included the launch and promotion of a one-of-a-kind online elections data repository, which uses infographics and maps to present the findings of PVT observers deployed during the country’s 2011 presidential elections. Through the website’s interactive content, users can explore stories about critical election day issues such as polling unit opening times, voter accreditation, presence of party agents and voter turnout.
TMG has one pre-election observer in each of the country’s 774 local government areas (LGAs) gathering systematic information about the 2015 pre-electoral environment, including early warning signs of electoral violence. The TMG observers monitor developments in their LGAs and once every two weeks text in responses to a fixed checklist of questions on such issues as the presence of political party rallies, the spread of voter education and information campaigns, INEC preparations, hate speech, inter-communal conflicts, incitement to violence, attacks on party rallies, reports of vote buying, and other important indicators of conflict in the pre-election environment. This allows TMG to track trends both over time and geographically and to produce biweekly reports with time-series data visualizations, which is distributed to a broad network of election and security stakeholders.
Non-violent Citizen Participation in Elections
To mitigate the potential for electoral violence, NDI is partnering with the 2face Foundation and Youngstars Development Initiative (YDI) to roll out the youth non-violence voter education and a get out the vote initiative, “Vote Not Fight: Election No Be War,” with Nigerian artist, 2face Idibia, as the campaign spokesperson. A winner of multiple MTV Africa and MTV Europe Music Awards, popular artist 2face has broad, nonpartisan appeal, and his foundation promotes peace and development work in Nigeria. Ahead of the 2015 elections, YDI has been leveraging public events including 2face concerts, to discuss the campaign and encourage youth to sign the campaign’s non-violence pledge. During an electronic card reader event on October 31, 2014, INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega, expressed his support for the Vote Not Fight campaign, signed the non-violence pledge and facilitated a card reader demonstration to event attendees and the media.
International Election Observation
NDI will field an international observation mission for Nigeria’s presidential and legislative elections on March 28. The delegation members come from eight countries. The mission’s findings will be presented at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, March 30.
In an early March 2015 press release, 14 current and former leaders of NDI observation missions to Nigeria from 10 countries joined the Institute in calling for Nigerian election authorities to adhere to the new March 28 date for presidential and legislative elections.
In January 2015, NDI and IRI deployed a joint pre-election assessment mission to assess the current political and electoral environment, preparations for the presidential election and offer recommendations to demonstrate international support for Nigeria’s democratization process. The joint delegation met with a variety of election stakeholders including party leadership, INEC and civil society organization.
Citizen Engagement in Electoral Reform
During the 2011 elections’ program, NDI assisted citizen groups to advocate for electoral reform to improve the election laws before the next national polls.
Civic and Voter Education Multimedia
Assisting civil society organizations to develop innovative civic and voter education multimedia has been a major focus of NDI’s work.
Strengthening Electoral Processes
NDI has trained domestic election monitors and deployed international observers for every general election in Nigeria since 1999.
Strengthening Governance at State and National Levels
In June 2014, NDI completed a year-long program supporting Bayelsa State in Nigeria’s southern Niger Delta region to promote transparency and accountability in budget and procurement processes. NDI provided training and technical assistance to the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, executive bodies working on budgeting and procurement, and civil society groups. The program sought to enhance their knowledge about the public procurement law, to hold public budget hearings and to improve legislative rules of procedure.
In 2009, NDI concluded a six-year legislative strengthening program to enhance the ability of the National Assembly to create laws and keep checks on the executive branch.
NDI's current programs in Nigeria are funded by the United States Agency for International Development, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, and the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:
Jasper Veen, chief of party and resident director, email@example.com
Gemima Barlow, Anglophone program director, firstname.lastname@example.org