Development Partners and Yemeni Election Commission Sign Common Resources Framework for Biometric Voter Registration Phase to Enhance Coordination
SANA’A, YEMEN. Implementing agencies and Multi-Donor Basket Fund partners gathered at the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum (SCER) on Sunday, 15 September 2013 to sign a comprehensive coordination document known as the Common Resources Framework, ensuring greater cooperation and coordination for the rollout of the nationwide Biometric Voter Registration campaign.
As one of the three inter-related electoral phases during the political transition in Yemen, the current electronic voter registration phase will set a concrete foundation for the forthcoming constitutional referendum and for the remaining elections during the transitional period based on the outcome of the current national dialogue conference.
Representatives from a group of international partners and implementers such as Sweden, Saudi Arabia, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Japan, Turkey and the European Union gathered at the SCER alongside the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) Support to Elections during the Transitional Period (SETP) project team and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, which have been supporting the SCERs efforts for the operational and planning arrangements for the Biometric Voter Registryphase.
The Common Resources Framework is a guiding document meant to ensure coordination at all levels, including budgeting, expenditures, priorities, and responsibilities for the BVR process, which aim to reform the outdated and controversial voter registry previously used for past elections. The Common Resources Framework will continue to be a working document, updated in instances of increased donations and technical modifications to the BVR process.
The Common Resources Framework is a step forward to ensuring that all priorities in relation to successful, transparent and fair elections are the foundation of this transitional period in Yemen, said Ismail OuldCheik Ahmed, the Resident Representative for the United Nations Development Programme in Yemen. He added that with this document, priorities, procedures and processes will be streamlined in an increased coordination mechanism in order to enhance all aspects of this highly technical and critical project for a new Yemen.
Development partners and implementers toured the SCER, visiting the warehouse where 2,950 BVR kits are currently housed while the SCER, UNDP SETP and IFES, arrange and coordinate training, operations, and the media and outreach campaign for the eventual rollout of the new technological advanced registration system.
The SCER held a private screening for portions of the media and outreach campaign for the BVR rollout, including a mini-documentary titled “The Future Begins with a Fingerprint,” to be used as an educational tool about the process and the preparations by the SCER for the BVR process.
In the coming weeks, another 1,950 BVR kits will be arriving in Yemen and transported to the SCER, which will require elections experts and technical counterparts at the commission to format and tailor the software programming for the planned rollout of the voter registry endeavor.
Donors have been an integral part of this process since the inception of the project concept, said Darren Nance, Chief Technical Advisor for the UNDP/SETP project. He added that we will be seeking greater coordination and cooperation throughout this BVR process, as the planning stages are finalized and the SCER begins the monumental task of rolling out BVR across the country.