As the National Electoral Commission (NEC) moves towards the conduct of Special Elections for Senators in 2014 to be followed probably by referendum in 2015, the administration of NEC deemed it expedient to take a number of steps aimed at enhancing short, medium and long-term viability of the commission. As such, NEC has started capacity building and professional development programs by means of in-house trainings, external study tours and other professional training activities. It is from this backdrop that NEC, in collaboration with UNDP-Liberia organized a study tour to understand the electoral process of Rwanda in September 2013.
The overall objective of said trip was to continuously ensure the personnel and institutional capacities of NEC and House of Representatives/Senate are built. In a nutshell, the trip sought to achieve the following:
- Sharing of experience;
- Learning from sister institution, NEC Rwanda, on elections administration and management;
- Acquiring more knowledge in legislative development; and
- Improvement in the oversight functions of NEC by the Legislature.
The project funded by UNDP was implemented in September 2013.
The two-week study tour was guided by a curriculum that had been developed by UNDP Liberia and the Rwandan election administration to meet the specific needs of the delegation. It included professional presentations that ranged from the administrative structure of NEC Rwanda to the operational bureaucracies. The numerous professional presentations, meetings and visits to NEC Rwanda printing and local offices, provincial governors, national ID authority, gender monitoring office (GMO), National Women Council and election observation revealed to the team that the operational structure of NEC Rwanda is much more developed than that of NEC Liberia. The high level of professionalism and commitment of the core staff in NEC Rwanda makes the electoral process understandable to all stakeholders, including political parties.
Finally, the administrative structure of NEC Rwanda and election operations conducted by it is geared towards sustainability; that is, the Commission has small but highly trained, well-placed professional staff. Because of this, NEC Rwanda uses limited amount of materials during elections to achieve very excellent outcomes. This also is good for the long-term viability of Liberia’s election management body.
Outcome was the basis of an institutional reform, including adoption of modern business processes and procedures by NEC.
National Electoral Commission
P.O. Box, 6449 Kigali – Rwanda
Phone: +250 252597800