For YIAGA AFRICA’s Watching the Vote Master Trainers, the journey began in 2017 in preparation for the 2017 Governorship elections in Anambra Elections where they were deployed as trainers to all 21 Local Government Areas in the state to train over 500 citizen observers who successfully observed the election in the state. The team who are now Master Trainers have subsequently trained over 1200 polling unit (PU) election observers, mobile observers and collation observers in Ekiti, Osun and the 3,906 Polling Units and Local Goverment supervisors who served as mobile observers during the 2019 general elections.
Ahead of the November 16 Governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi State, YIAGA AFRICA’s under its Watching The Vote project has concluded the training of its Master Trainers tagged the Parallel Vote Tabulation Academy 5, (PVT Academy 5). The training which was held on the 28th and 29th of August, 2019 in Abuja is to prepare the team for the observation of
both the pre-election environment and the election day procedure in both Kogi and Bayelsa state. Leading the training session is the WTV Training Manager, Paul James who emphasized the importance of increased public knowledge of the Parallel Vote Tabulation election observation methodology even as the team plans to deploy for Bayelsa and Kogi state. According to Paul James, WTV Master Trainers have a role to play in ensuring election stakeholders understand the PVT to avoid misinterpretation of the methodology.
The PVT academy 5 according to Paul James is aimed to prepare Master Trainers for pre-election environment and election day observation training across all Local Government Areas in both Kogi and Bayelsa states. He said, YIAGA AFRICA is determined to maintain the highest standard of election observation in Africa and this has necessitated the consistent training of Master Trainers especially ahead of major elections in the country.
He said the training further refresh participants knowledge on importance of Information technology which has aided election observation overtime and provides a platform of making impact positive impact on Nigeria. While timely and accurate information remains the crux of the PVT project, participants were also urged to follow all protocols, rules and procedures governing election observation in Nigeria as instituted by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Participants also went through practical sessions on how to draw PVT samples. Other calculations include the margin of error which determines the precision of data received by Polling Units observers which is usually based on sample size, response rate and homogeneity of data.