Elections observation and monitoring system

This is a database template to explore how ActivityInfo can be used to support your information management needs for an Elections observation and monitoring system.

It includes forms to collect reference data such as lists of political parties, observers, projects, activities and more as well as forms that allow you to monitor the election process including the status of the polling station, complaints and violations, results and more. In addition, there is a form that allows you to capture information in relation to the M&E Plan of the project and the project logframe.

The template also includes Dashboards, a Notebook and a Map report providing analysis of data related to incidents of violence, rally monitoring, projects progress and more.

After you copy this template, you can customize the database, forms and fields as well as add records to meet your needs. You can also translate the database to another language.

Create your own database based on this template

Click on ‘Get started with this template’ to add the database to your ActivityInfo account. If you don’t have an account with ActivityInfo, you will be prompted to start a Free trial.

In this database you will find four folders.

Reference data folder

This folder contains various reference forms to which the rest of the forms in your database will link to. Reference forms are used for lists of entities; in this folder you can find the following forms:

Reference folder and reference forms
Reference folder and reference forms

  • Activity: a list of activities that need to happen in relation to the elections project along with their start and end dates and the target number of activity packages for each activity (e.g. the activity ‘Conduct capacity-building workshops and training for political party members’ has as a target 15 activity packages, i.e. training sessions)
  • Indicator: A list of indicators. The form links to the Results form.
  • List of Political Parties: a list of available political parties along with the level of coverage
  • Location: A list of Provinces, this form focuses on Ghana, you can change the field to collect different types of location with a text field or with a reference field that referencing the built-in geodatabase
  • Observer Team: A list of teams of observers
  • Observers Names: A list of observers. The form links back to the main forms that gather complaints and violations so you can see in the Table View all the complaints that have been observed by a particular observer.
  • Project Beneficiaries registration: A list of beneficiaries together with some basic information about them.
  • Project List: A list of Election projects running with their start and end dates. The form includes a reverse reference to the Campaign Rally form to help link the Project to related Rally campaigns and information collected for them.
  • Result: A list of Outputs, Outcomes, Goals
  • Stakeholder cluster list for electoral support: A list of cluster members like local stakeholders (and their information) benefiting from the electoral support provided by the donor.
  • Type of election: A list of type of elections available

A note about the ‘Project Beneficiaries registration’ reference form: Currently the main forms for the election monitoring system are not linked to this reference form. Many organizations have projects solely dedicated to election monitoring, without direct election support activities. However, the majority of organizations involved in election support manage both types of projects, with election monitoring as an integral part of broader initiatives related to good governance and democracy. In these cases, the project and beneficiaries are intrinsically linked to the election monitoring system, encompassing aspects like project beneficiary vs candidates, political parties, election results, and addressing issues of violence etc.

A note about the ‘Type of election’ reference form: The type of election can vary based on the country's context. The project supports elections at various levels, including political party elections and elections within sister organizations, etc. More records can be added for other types of elections such as: Presidential,. General, Gubernatorial, State House of Assembly, National Assembly, Senate, House of Representatives, Local Government, etc.

The Electoral support project folder

This folder includes one form that collects information about each electoral project. It collects information such as the point of contact for the project and includes subforms to collect information about the M&E Plan of the project and the project logframe.

The M&E Plan subform offers an overview for the indicators tracked along with their targets, frequency and their connection to the goals of the project. In the Project Logframe subform, there are more subforms that collect information about specific activities done for this project along with a list of the participants attending them.

Electoral Support Project form structure
Electoral Support Project form structure

Elections monitoring project folder

This is the heart of the Elections monitoring system. It contains several forms that link back to reference forms that collect important information related to the elections.

Elections Monitoring Project form structure
Elections Monitoring Project form structure

Campaign rally report form

This form collects information related to the Campaign Rally of each Party for the Election project. It collects the observer’s name and uses a subform to collect a lot of information on participation and incidents per location and candidate. The Parent form also includes automated calculations that aggregate the data submitted in the subform to provide a better overview of the Campaign Rally for each party.

Complaints, violations and irregularities form

This form collects the complaints, violations and irregularities reported in each administrative region. It includes a subform that collects the details about each incident such as the event that took place, the date, and information about the complaint filed along with further actions when needed.

The Parent form used calculated fields to provide an overview of total complains and their status (e.g. total complaints resolved, in litigation, escalated, under review, under investigation and more).

Polling center opening form

This form gathers information related to the Polling center on the date and time of opening. It should be filled by the observer team at the center and it collects important information in relation to the situation outside and inside the center as well as the ballot box status. It also allows observers to provide an overall assessment of the election environment and voting process at this stage.

Note for the ‘Polling center opening’ form: The form is time bound, it must be filled in as soon as the center opens.

Polling station observation form

This form gathers information related to the Polling center. It should be filled by the observer team at the center and it collects important information in relation to the status of the polling center inside and outside the center as well as regarding the polling process itself. It also allows observers to provide an overall assessment of the election environment and voting process.

Note for the ‘Polling station observation’ form: While the opening and closing are two time bound stages, local observers can use this form to report to the data center in real time. This is for international observer teams; roaming observers who are not static or assigned to one polling station but move around. Data collected in this form can be used to triangulate details shared by local observers. In order to be perceived as neutral there are some things like voting numbers that they are not allowed to enter.

Poll closing and vote counting form

This form is used for the actual vote counting following the completion of the Election process. It also collects information in relation to Poll closing as well as to Counting and Reconciliation. It also allows observers to provide an overall assessment of the election environment and voting process at this stage.

Poll closing and vote counting form
Poll closing and vote counting form

Reports folder

This folder includes a variety of reports that provide a summary for the Election project. You can always create copies of these reports, edit the reports themselves or add your own reports.

Notebook: Election monitoring summary report

This is a Notebook report including information about the gender and age disaggregation for political rally activities, a comparison between the actual voters in all polling units and the votes tendered, the number of ballots received versus the number of spoiled ballots and the number of complaints received disaggregated by gender.

Notebook - Election monitoring summary
Notebook - Election monitoring summary

Map: Incidences of violation per province

The Map shows the total number of incidents of violations per province based on the records collected in the Complaints, violations and irregularities form.

Map - Incidences of violation
Map - Incidences of violation

Dashboard: Project Report

This is a rich one page Dashboard offering an overview of the status of the Project. It offers information in relation to the Age groups participating, the number of planned and completed activities, the indicator status and more.

Dashboard - Project report
Dashboard - Project report

Dashboard: Rally Monitoring Reporting

This is a two page Dashboard that shows a variety of summaries such as the number of participants per rally location and the disaggregated number for youth and female participants, the number of incidents by type as well as information related to filed complaints.

Dashboard - Rally monitoring
Dashboard - Rally monitoring

Invite colleagues

Last but not least, the template includes three Roles which you can edit or assign as they are to colleagues invited to the database.

  • The Administrator role offers full access to the database and its content and can perform all types of operations on forms, records, users and roles.

  • The Reporting partner role allows only basic operations to the user for the forms in the database with the exception of the forms in the reference folder for which the ‘view only’ operation is permitted. The parameter ‘Partner’ is applied for this role so users will be able to work with records related to their assigned Observer team.

  • The Observer role allows limited basic operations such as viewing and adding records only. It also allows users with this role to view reference data.

  • The Data center clerk role allows basic operations and some design and management operations. It also allows users with this role to view reference data.

You can also add new Roles and adjust them up to the last detail to your needs.

Well done!

You have created a complete database for an Elections observation and monitoring system. You can always add more forms and reports based on your requirements.

Never hesitate to contact us if you need help setting up more forms for monitoring your projects in ActivityInfo.