Election Support Centres (ESCs) Reviewed

The ESCs provided backgound support to all briefings of the Commission during the 2016 General Elections and Referendum

The Provincial Electoral Support Centres PESCs were implemented during the 2016 General Elections and Referendum with the support of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) under the UNDP Election Support Programme across the country to enhance the Commission’s communication and information flows during the election period. At national level, the support centres where termed National Election Support Centres (NESCs).

Opening the review workshop, Mr. Chomba Chella encouraged participants to openly discuss their experience and conveyed the Commission’s commitment to ensuring responsiveness and effectiveness in its functions.

The workshop was attended by officers from ECZ Public Relations Department, ECZ Information Technology Department, ECZ Elections Department and district councils at Provincial level, Director Elections,

Speaking at the same event, IFES Senior Administrator Stephen Donald said that Zambia is held in high esteem across the globe for its competitive electoral process and for the professional role the Electoral Commission of Zambia plays in managing elections in Zambia. “We are glad to have supported the election Support Centre in Zambia and happy to learn from the Zambian experience so that we can look at what can be improved on as we look at the 2021 elections” Mr. Donald said.

The review checked performance of components of the transparency framework which included Election Support Centres ESCs. ESCs were implemented during the 2016 General Elections and Referendum across all Provincial centres as a way of monitoring elections in the field and to provide near real-time periodic reports on the progress of key elections activity areas. The infrastructure which housed the ESC in Lusaka also had the National Results Centre, the Call Centre and the Election Media Centre.

Participants discussed how PESCs could be integrated within the functions of the Commission in order to improve command and control capabilities of the Commission. It was also discussed that in order for the framework to improve in performance, preparations for implementation must be put in place in good time before the elections to ensure effectiveness.

The PESC was implemented in line with the transparency framework which was a coordinated mechanism implemented by the Commission during the elections aimed at keeping election stakeholders and the general public duly informed about the status of the polling proceedings, incidences and the results of the General Elections and referendum.