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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Straining without training? Capacity-related problems facing African election executives and officials
Author:Maphunye, Kealeboga J.
Periodical:International Journal of African Renaissance Studies (ISSN 1753-7274)
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:election management bodies
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/18186874.2017.1333282
Abstract:This article argues that the empowerment of election officials and executives is usually overlooked, understated or simply ignored; yet elections cannot be conducted without plans in place to improve their efficiency and effectiveness; especially through training. As one of the foremost mechanisms for improving elections, training is crucial to organisational performance enhancement. However, training for election officials and executives is fairly new in many African countries. Generally incorporated in generic university or vocational institute courses globally, training is usually offered as a special tailor-made module for polling officials in western countries. Even then, it rarely covers the severe conditions election officials regularly face, especially in Africa. This article examines these issues based on a review of the extant literature, conceptual and theoretical reflection on election management, and practical interaction with some election authorities who participated as trainees in the Unisa Management of Democratic Elections in Africa (MDEA) course (2012-2014). The article concludes that the training of election officials and executives poses challenges for Africa; partly because some election management bodies (EMBs) prefer to 'strain' rather than effectively train their members to ensure sustainable performance, and partly because others prefer short-term irrelevant training that undermines their organisational goals. These hurdles need to be overcome if Africa is to address its election-related challenges. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]