SPECIALIZED COURSE ON DATA ANALYSIS AND MANAGEMENT IN ELECTION ADMINISTRATION
Washington D.C. – U.S.A. November 25 – 29, 2019
Making an informed decision is critical to serving the public well. Oftentimes, election administrators are asked to weigh in on potential legislation or to review procedures to identify areas of opportunity for improvement and need to be able to objectively proceed with what is best based on sound, quantifiable data. Supporting something because “it’s always been done that way” or because “it sounds like a good idea” should not be the modus operandi for any election official.
This course seeks to revisit what we consider when we talk about election data as well as how it is used. There are great tools available that can aid an election administrator in navigating the sometimes murky waters of our democratic process.
Knowing where to look and what to look for is sometimes more important than knowing an answer because in the election world that answers can change on a dime. Understanding the resources available within one’s own office, as well as those external entities, can aid in serving our voters well and build the integrity of the election organization.
This course will draw upon academic studies and readings as well as videos of public meetings, presentations, and guest speakers, drawing upon the talents of America’s best and brightest election minds. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss with experts in the field and observe the conduct of midterm elections in the United States as International Observers.
There can be many challenges in election data and performance measurement. In the course, we will discuss one example of polling places—what data is available to help find polling locations, make sure that they are accessible to all voters, how some data comparisons can be a challenge in this area when discussing changes in locations provided to the voters. One example we cover is a report comparing the total number of sites offered and how that can be deceiving in a vacuum, but given additional information on perhaps a jurisdiction’s move to vote-centers can inform the discussion. Without considering these other motivations or reasons behind the data, one could quickly draw the wrong conclusions and often do. Data plays a key role in being able to tell the election story well, and accurately.
This course will highlight the importance of evidence-based election administration, which focuses on collection and analysis of quantitative data to solve problems and identify opportunities for improvement. There will be an emphasis on pre-election forecasting for planning purposes as well as post-election auditing of election results. This intense program that starts from 8 am to 5 pm daily will engage participants on the following subjects:
- Identify sources of data in the election process.
- Examine different methods to obtain data that informs policy decisions and administrative processes based on voting behavior and the architecture of voting systems.
- Use data to forecast turnout and other Election Day events to assist with pre-election planning.
- Apply data analysis techniques to post-election reviews as part of continuous improvement.
- Illustrate the story of an election by presenting data in a meaningful and persuasive way.
Topics will involve
- Introduction to Election Data Collection Methods
- Election Data Audiences
- Election Data Consumption
- System Data for Resource & Allocation Management (Pre-Election Day)
- Tools for Resource Allocation & Management (Pre-Election Day)
- System Data Polling Place Acquisition (Pre-Election Day)
- Data Collection on Election Day (Election Day)
- System Data and Election Innovations (Post-Election Day)
- Election Day Data Analysis & Presentation (Post-Election Day)
- Data Gaps (Post-Election Day)
USICES avails itself of a wide range of experts who have trained in the past decade more than 500 election administrators and offered graduate academic programs on the subject in different universities across the United States and around the globe. In addition, we have included among the pool of experts, presentations from representatives from various U.S. federal, state, and local election departments and boards to add value and patronage to the training course, as well as provide an opportunity for participants to build networks.
Facilitators use activity-based approaches that maximize retention of knowledge and skills learned. In addition, the training is designed to promote or reinforce professional confidence, ethics, understanding of principles of best electoral practice, and access to networks of peers. Facilitators encourage participants to reflect on their better organization, providing comparative examples and alternative approaches, generating blueprints or support for organizational reform. Participants will be evaluated for each topic through quizzes and a final test after the training to complete the course and get a certificate.
Participants will also have the opportunity to receive practical on-site scenario and meetings with officials of United States based State and Local Election offices to have firsthand knowledge on how elections are administered in the United States. This presents an avenue to build networks and promote the exchange of experiences between participants and U.S. election officials.
Who can apply?
This course is primaries important for:
- Senior and Mid-level officials of Election Management Bodies (EMBs)
- Leaders of Civil Society Organizations directly engaged in election-related processes
- Officials of media organizations involved in election reporting
- Political party officials involved in data collection and analysis for electoral purposes
- Officials working with election assistance providing organizations, graduate students, etc.
How to apply
Prospective applicants wishing to apply must fill and submit the application form together with their resume and two (2) professional references. Application form.
Course instructors will then review the applications and CV/resume. Once the instructor accepts or denies your application, you will receive notification by email. If your application is accepted, you will receive further instructions by email, including payment information. Applicants will be notified about the outcome of their application within ten working days. Applications will be accepted on a rolling base and will stop when the required number of participants is reached.
Application Deadline: November 1, 2019
Cost of Training
The cost for the training is $1,000 and covers, tuition, study materials, breakfast and lunch for the duration of training, ground transportation to and from selected U.S. Federal, States, and County election offices. Complete payments must be received not more than 14 days after notification of acceptance. Participants are responsible for their own lodging and travel arrangements, including visas. USICES offer reduced hotel rates through some partner hotels. Selected participants will be provided with the list of these hotels.
Visas to the United States
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a request for an invitation letter to join the course. Once it has been emailed to you, it should be provided to the U.S. embassy at which you apply for a visa. Please note that you will need a tourist (B or B1) visa. Note also that we are not able to influence the decisions of U.S. embassies, but our staff will be attentive to respond to any questions the embassy may have about your application. Invitation letters are sent to applicants who have completed the application process and paid the course fee.