PRESS RELEASE: UNDP supports results management system for greater transparencyMay 19, 2014
Lilongwe - As part of its basket-fund support programme to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has supported the development of a results management software to process results from the 20th May Tripartite Elections in Malawi. An integral component of the election administration, the software was tested on May 14 and demonstrated to representatives from political parties, civil society, media, and observation groups who welcomed the initiative. The aim was to show how MEC officials will transmit polling station results to Tally Centers and clarify aspects of the results management system.
Political Parties were encouraged to bring IT experts for a better appreciation of the software and raise technical questions to the MEC ICT Department who demonstrated several aspects of the system: data entry, image capture, data validation, computation and internet based data transmission, as well as data extraction and presentation, existing safeguards, information security features and fastness of results transmission to the National Tally Center. MEC ICT Director also explained the system capacity to identify and combat any attempted election fraud and to keep records of all entries done by any operator to make the results management system auditable. The features represent an improvement on the management of elections results as compared to previous elections. Political party IT experts attending the event were satisfied with the demo and explanations provided by the IT Department.
Mr. Muhabi Chisi encouraged election observers and political party agents to start monitoring at the most critical location - the polling stations - and compare results at each location with results being transmitted at Tally Centers. Data entry at Tally Centers will be followed by immediate printing of results for easy verification and crosscheck by political parties and observers. This measure is meant to increase transparency and voter confidence in the final results to be announced by MEC.
With 656 election races being held (462 ward, 193 constituencies, and the Presidential race), results will be manually aggregated at 4,445 polling stations and delivered to the Constituency Tally Centers in 35 District Headquarters. The data in Tamper Evidence Envelopes will be digitized and transmitted to the National Tally Centre at COMESA Hall, in Blantyre.
Experts from the Malawian company responsible for developing the software, Globe Computer Systems Ltd and UNDP attended the event and presentation by MEC ICT Director, showing the efforts that MEC and its counterparts are doing to ensure transparency of the process.
UNDP has been supporting consolidation of democracy in Malawi, by supporting different institutions including the Malawi Electoral Commission through the Malawi Electoral Cycle Support Project, and promoting transparency and accountability as core principles underpinning electoral administration.
UNDP Communications Office