Structure Of An Election Situation Room
The Election Situation Room model allows organizations within the platform to bring information and networks from their field of expertise, which form the bases of the analysis and advocacy. The diverse composition combines varied information sources, analysis, networking and outreach skills, to enhance the quality and authority of a civil society voice.
The generic structure of an Election Situation Room, though open to customization by each host country, is as follows;
Council of Elders: These are eminent persons of high integrity, neutral and critical thinkers who easily command respect, have gravitas and proven management experience, good decision making, conflict management abilities and good understanding of their country’s social, economic and political context. These persons serve as the political face of the Election Situation Room to speak with authority on issues coming out of the Election Situation Room as agreed upon by all members of the platform. They are also responsible for engaging relevant stakeholders when issues emerge and provide counsel to the Steering Committee
Steering Committee: This is the body responsible for providing oversight to the secretariat on behalf of the Stakeholder Forum and enforcing all decisions made by the Stakeholder Forum. The Steering Committee is also responsible for reporting back to the Stakeholder Forum on all activities, facilitating for resource mobilization and give policy direction to the secretariat and all subsequent committees and sub-committees
Stakeholder Forum: This is the decision-making body of the Election Situation Room and should comprise of representatives of the various NGOs and Institutions that have Representatives of these groups should be senior-level staff who have authority to make commitments on behalf of their various groups. The Committee may break into smaller thematic groups for more nimble burden-sharing. In some instances, the Committee can also invite other experts to help enrich its deliberation processes.
Secretariat: The Situation Room will need a temporary secretariat. For practical reasons, a secretariat may be hosted by one of the coordinating groups. The work of the secretariat is to provide the necessary administrative support to the Election Situation Room. It is advisable that staff is hired for such specific roles.
However, in circumstances where this is not possible, participating groups can agree on seconding their existing staff to perform such functions. The primary factor here is that such staff must be dedicated to the Situation Room operations full-time.
The staff positions include;
- Project Manager
- Project Officer – Admin and Logistics
- Project Officer – Accounts
- Project Officer – Media and Publicity
- Project Officer – ICT
- Project Officer – Social Media
- Analysts – Political and Statistician
- Data officers
Dedicated Observers: Information from the field is the main foundation of the activities of the Election Situation Room as it is imperative that there be access to credible information. Individual member organizations should agree to provide access of their election observers to help. Equally, the Election Situation Room can also work out an arrangement with non-members who have access to information from the fields.