Statistics agency and electoral commission formalise collaboration deal

The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) and the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) have signed an agreement to formalise their collaboration.

The signing took place at the NSA head office on Tuesday.

The ECN is responsible for all Namibian electoral activities, from voter registration and political party registration, to the setting and monitoring of elections.

Meanwhile, the NSA is responsible for the global monitoring, collection and processing of information and data for foreign and domestic intelligence and counterintelligence.

The agreement aims to promote and develop areas of mutual interest in fields related to information, technology systems, field staff employment, fieldwork transportation and statistical data.

Speaking at the event, chief executive and statistician general Alex Shimuafeni said census data provides a snapshot of the nation’s population which is crucial for policy decisions and resource allocation.

“The aim is to create administrative boundaries that reflect the population’s actual distribution, ensuring fair and proportional representation, as well as bringing services closer to the people,” said Shimuafeni.

He further highlighted that the census data collected by the NSA will help the ECN when it comes to the modalities of planning for the coming elections.

“When electoral boundaries are redrawn based on the census data, it can result in new electoral constituencies, this can reshape the political landscape impacting the way we vote.”

The ECN relies on data when organising data to know how many eligible voters there are in each constituency and the census data provides this information enabling ECN to prepare accurate voter lists, allocate resources and ensure that the logistics of conducting elections run smoothly.

Shimuefeni said contrary to the past three traditional censuses, Namibia will conduct the first full spatially enabled digital census.

“For this census, we are not only collecting statistics but also linking these to the geographic location of the population in a fully digital manner. This will ensure that data for any geographic boundary can be derived seamlessly,” said Shimuafeni.

Chief electoral officer Peter Shaama reiterated that it was imperative to formalise their cooperation with the NSA.

“This agreement provides a framework for both the NSA and the ECN to assist each other in enhancing their operations as collaborations were already taking place even without the agreement,” said Shaama.

The agreement is effective from 12 September 2023 for five years and will be subject to review once every two years.

Highlighted in the agreement is that ECN will work with the NSA in the design and development of an e-recruitment system.

Under the agreement, the NSA will be required to provide expertise, experience and reputation for secondments to the ECN to enable knowledge transfers in human resources, information communication technology, statistical analysis and research.

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