On Monday, (July 25, 2022), representatives from the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) Observer Group met with members of the European Union Election Observer Mission (the EU EOM). During the meeting, the teams discussed their roles in the upcoming general election scheduled for August 9, 2022.
The leader of the KICTANet delegation, Mwendwa Kivuva, gave a background of the multistakeholder think tank and its work in elections in the country. Other members present were Barrack Otieno, John Walubengo and David Indeje.
The EU EOM was led by Ms Alicia Ramon, Election Technology Analyst; accompanied by Ms Eirini-Maria Gounari, Election Analyst; Ms Alicia Colombi, Social Media Analyst; and Ms Ivy Ateko.
The European Union Election Observer Mission sought to understand KICTANet’s observation mission and how it would assess poll coverage to promote a free, fair, and transparent election.
John Walubengo, the lead trainer for KICTNANet Observation Group, said they would take a risk-based approach to their observation mission for the general election. To this end, a tool was developed to collect information covering various aspects of the electoral process. KICTANet observers will be located at the constituency, County and the National Tallying Centre.
Other issues that were discussed include the use of technology in elections, privacy and data protection, the role of social media, misinformation and disinformation in elections, and the partnerships KICTANet has with other stakeholders like Meta and the Communications Authority, among others.
The KICTANet team welcomed further collaboration with the EU Delegation and how to synergise on election observation.
KICTANet recently met with Kenya’s elections management body, the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), to highlight key concerns on the upcoming election.
The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Kenya this year is the fifth EU mission in the country since 2002. It operates per the “Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation” endorsed under the United Nations auspices in 2005.
The EU EOM is led by Chief Observer Ivan Stefanec, a member of the European Parliament from Slovakia. The core team consists of 12 election experts, 48 long-term observers, and 48 short-term election observers who will join the rest of the team around election day to observe the opening, voting, counting, and tabulation of results.
KICTANet is a multistakeholder platform that aims to catalyse ICT reforms through stakeholder engagement, capacity building, research and policy advocacy. This engagement process is part of KICTANet’s strategic pillar that aims to promote the use of technology in public policy processes.
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David Indeje is KICTANet’s Communications Officer.