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Sierra Leone

Elections (SL0018)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Sierra Leone National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: National Electoral Commission (NEC)

Support Institution(s): National Registration Secretariat, Ministry of Internal Affairs; National Election Watch NEW Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) Youth Coalition, Women's Forum, Society for Democratic

Policy Areas

E-Government, Money in Politics, Open Data, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Sierra Leone End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Sierra Leone Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Status quo or problem/ issue to be addressed
Currently, and boundary limitation are not published online and in an open data format. As Sierra Leone plans for the fourth post-conflict elections in 2017/18 it becomes necessary to digitize access to elections related information so as to allow citizens access and promote a level playing field for all players. The publishing of boundary delimitation data allows for scrutiny and review at the individual political level and makes for substantial savings, better data discovery and data reuse. More importantly it fosters credible and free and transparent elections.

Main objective
Promote transparency and accountability in the management of elections.

Brief Description of Commitment (140 character limit)
This commitment will promote transparency and accountability in the management of elections by making available constituency and boundary information in electronic format online. It will also improve the transmission of election results through technology and making them available online in open data format.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 7. Elections

Commitment Text: This commitment will promote transparency and accountability in the management of elections by making available constituency and boundary information in electronic format online. It will also improve the transmission of election results through technology and making them available online in open data format.

Milestones:

  1. Constituency boundaries information on line
  2. Improving the transmission of elections results through technology and making them available online in open format.

Responsible institution: National Elections Commission.

Supporting institution(s): National Elections Watch, Campaign for Good Governance, Youth Coalition, and Women’s Forum.

Start date: July 2016                                                                                  End date: June 2018

Commitment Aim:

This commitment aimed to publish information on constituency boundaries and ensure the transmission of election results online.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

There was substantial progress by the midterm. The National Elections Commission (NEC) published information on its website on the constituency boundaries delineated for the March 2018 general elections. However, the midterm report noted this was not a new activity; NEC always publishes this information for general elections. The midterm report also found that NEC always used printed materials, radio, newspapers, and its website to provide this information and intended to do so again for the 2018 elections. At the midterm, NEC had developed a test version of an android app with voter list and election updates. For more information, please see the 2016−2018 midterm report. [51]

End of term: Completed

Milestone 1: Following the midterm, the NEC provided election information to the public using printed materials, radio, newspapers, its website, and the android app that had been piloted at the midterm. The government published information on constituency boundaries online. [52]

Milestone 2: Approaching the 2018 elections, the NEC provided election information via mobile android applications. The head of the National Elections Watch and the head of the Campaign for Good Governance confirmed that voters used the android app to check their registration status during the voter registration exercise. [53] The milestone, however, aimed to improve the transmission of election results through technology and make them available online in open format. Leaders of two CSOs that monitored the election process said the aim was not achieved because results were transmitted manually.

Did it open government?

Access to information: Marginal

In past elections, information on constituency boundaries was not adequately provided by the National Elections Commission (NEC). While the electoral laws of Sierra Leone specify certain information that the NEC must publish during public elections, constituency boundaries are not one of these areas. The Executive Director for the Campaign for Good Governance confirmed that as a result of this previously limited information on constituency boundaries, voters were commonly confused as to where they may register to vote. [54]

The extent to which the android app was used by voters could not be ascertained by the National Elections Watch (NEW), a civil society coalition monitoring elections. [55] Although the technology did not transmit elections results, per the milestone, they agreed that the app increased citizen access to information. [56] In the past only billboards, radio, television, website, and posters were used to publish election information. According to leaders of NEW, implementation of the commitment enabled people to know easily where they may register and vote; as a result, this may have helped increase participation in the 2018 elections. [57] The boundary information and the introduction of an android app increased both the platforms that the government uses for election information and the type of information given out. This marginally opened governance as, according to the Executive Director of the Campaign for Good Governance, the vast majority of people still relied on billboards, radio, television, website, and posters for election information in 2019. [58]

Carried forward?

The government had not released the third action plan at the time of this report. The commitment is complete and there is no aspect to take forward.

[51] Charlie Hughes, Sierra Leone Mid-Term Report 2016-2018 (OGP, 9 Jul. 2018), https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/sierra-leone-mid-term-report-2016-2018-year-1/.

[52] http://www.opendatasl.gov.sl/dataset/8-delimitation-constituency-and-ward-boundaries.  Note, however, that the original link has been out of service.

[53] Reverend James Lahai (Chairman, National Elections Watch) and Marcella Samba-Sesay (Executive Director, Campaign for Good Governance), interview with IRM researcher, 15 Aug. 2018.

[54] Marcella Samba-Sesay (Executive Director, Campaign for Good Governance), interview with IRM researcher, 2 Apr. 2019.

[55] Lahai and Samba-Sesay, interview, 15 Aug. 2018.

[56] Id.

[57] Id.

[58] Samba-Sesay, interview, 2 Apr. 2019.


Commitments

  1. Expanding community-based justice services

    SL0022, 2019, Justice

  2. Improving access to secondary school

    SL0023, 2019, Education

  3. Tax system transparency

    SL0024, 2019, Fiscal Transparency

  4. Beneficial ownership registry

    SL0025, 2019, Beneficial Ownership

  5. Improve implementation of right to access to information

    SL0026, 2019, E-Government

  6. Advancing gender equality

    SL0027, 2019, Gender

  7. Open parliament

    SL0028, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Records and Archives Management

    SL0029, 2019, Legislation & Regulation

  9. Gender

    SL0012, 2016, Capacity Building

  10. Foriegn Aid Transparency

    SL0013, 2016, Aid

  11. Waste Management

    SL0014, 2016, Capacity Building

  12. Fiscal Transparency and Open Budget

    SL0015, 2016, E-Government

  13. Audit Report

    SL0016, 2016, Audits and Controls

  14. Climate Change

    SL0017, 2016, Capacity Building

  15. Elections

    SL0018, 2016, E-Government

  16. Record Archive Management

    SL0019, 2016, E-Government

  17. Access to Justice

    SL0020, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Open Public Procurement Contracting

    SL0021, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  19. Publish and Revise 70% of Mining and Agricultural Lease Agreements and Contracts

    SL0009, 2014, E-Government

  20. Starred commitment Right to Access Information Law

    SL0010, 2014, Capacity Building

  21. Open Data Portal for Transparency in Fiscal and Extractive Transactions

    SL0011, 2014, E-Government

  22. Public Integrity Pact with 5 Ministries, Departments, and Agencies

    SL0001, 2014, Conflicts of Interest

  23. Archives and Records Management Act

    SL0002, 2014, E-Government

  24. Scale up Performance Management and Service Delivery Directorate

    SL0003, 2014, Public Participation

  25. Compliance with Audit Measures

    SL0004, 2014, Audits and Controls

  26. Starred commitment Single Treasure Account

    SL0005, 2014, Extractive Industries

  27. Extractive Industry Revenue Act

    SL0006, 2014, Extractive Industries

  28. Scaling up Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives

    SL0007, 2014, Extractive Industries

  29. Local Content Policy (LCP) Linkages with MDAs

    SL0008, 2014, Capacity Building