Namibia Statistics Agency and the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), have yesterday entered into a collaboration to promote and develop areas of mutual interest in field-related operations.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the parties will cooperate in information systems and data analysis management, institutional resources sharing, exchange of knowledge and other electoral and statistical-related matters.
The agreements were signed by Statistician General, Alex Shimuafeni and Chief Electoral Officer, Peter Shaama in Windhoek yesterday.
Shimuafeni highlighted that the NSA will share knowledge and methods on the recruitment of field staff with ECN.
Additionally, he said the NSA will share approaches to obtaining transportation services required for the work field of ECN.
He also pointed out that their cooperation with ECN will also look at the development of an e-recruitment management system information dissemination, and the provision of requisite technical support.
Shimuafeni indicated that cooperation enables institutions to transfer knowledge in human resources, statistical analysis, research and logistics management.
“We are aware that data especially demographic data, in turn, affects our elections, particularly regional and local elections,” Shimuafeni noted.
He emphasised that when organising and planning elections, ECN needs to know how many eligible voters are in each constituency.
Adding that this is because of the Delimitation Commission in which new boundaries in constituencies and regions may influence the structures of the elections.
“Census data provide information allowing ECN to prepare accurate voter lists, allocate resources to run election smoothly,” he motivated.
He said this makes the NSA delve into how ECN relies on data, not only census data but for the meticulous planning of elections.
“ECN relies on this data for precise election planning, ensuring that every eligible voter’s voice is heard,” Shifuafeni explained.
He said the data will be shared with ECN impartially and accurately to avoid controversies.
Meanwhile, Shaama said the agreement will assist the Parties in enhancing their systems and operations.
This includes the deployment and recruiting of ECN staff members for fieldwork, he said.
According to Shaama, in 2020, the ECN introduced the Online Recruitment App when it employed election officials deployed for the 2020 Regional Council and Local Authority elections.
In light of this, he said the agreement enables the two parties to leverage the use of resources at their disposal for mutual benefits by establishing synergies in sharing relevant experience, knowledge and expertise.
He pointed out that since the last General Registration of Voters was conducted in 2014, ECN will be required to make use of census statistical data in planning and preparations for next year’s General Registration of Voters to make the process easy.
“This agreement comes at the right time as we are heading to General Registration of Voters, Presidential and National Assembly elections,” he highlighted.