History of the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO)
In 2015, ECES signed a unique agreement with the Organization of American Sates (OAS) to collaborate to promote transparency and quality in elections by supporting the certification of election management bodies against international electoral standards of the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO).
In May of the same year, the OAS had established the International Electoral Accreditation Body (IEAB) whose ultimate objective is to guarantee the integrity of the certification process with the ISO/TS 17582:2014 (now ISO/TS 54001:2019) by ensuring that standard criteria are used in certification assessments and that “Lead Assessors and Auditors” possess the requisite knowledge and abilities to carry out assessments, and to ensure that certification decisions are the product of consensus.
In this context, ECES, OAS and IEAB are collaborating to spread the knowledge and comprehension of ISO/TS 54001:2019 and the IEAB Assessment Methodology and to support the certification processes for interested EMBs in Africa, the Middle East and other regions or countries where ECES implements activities and projects. The majority of ECES’ senior staff have been trained by IEAB, thus enabling ECES to support and accompany electoral management bodies in their certification process.
Beginning in 2007 and based on the requests of its Member States, the OAS began providing technical accompaniment to those countries that requested it through the implementation of quality management and certification systems following the 9001 norms of the ISO.
ISO Technical Specifications for Quality Management Systems for Electoral Organisations
In February 2014, ISO Technical Specifications for Quality Management Systems for Electoral Organisations was published (ISO/TS 17582:2014) and designed for use by electoral bodies to focus on the quality of its services vis a vis of all electoral stakeholders.
ISO/TS 54001:2019 involves eight key electoral processes:
1) voter registration;
2) registration of political organisations and candidates;
3) electoral logistics;
4) vote casting,
5) vote counting and declaration of results;
6) electoral education;
7) oversight of campaign financing;
8) resolution of electoral disputes.
ISO Training and Certification
Within the framework of ECES' project in Jordan, the EU Support to Jordanian Democratic Institutions and Development EU-JDID, the Independent Election Commission of Jordan (IEC Jordan) recived the ISO certification on Quality Management Systems (ISO/TS 54001:2019). Thanks to the support of ECES experts and in-country staff, the IEC Jordan received a variety of capacity development programmes that were developed to support the certifcation process and ensure the enhanced EMB’s staff capacity in quality management and the implemntation of the standard.
With ECES support, the IEC Jordan hereby became the first Electoral Management Body (EMB) in the Middle East and North African region to hold the ISO certificate on QMS.
This process complements the international obligations-based approach and allows EMBs to:
- Identify operational vulnerabilities;
- Highlight opportunities for improvement;
- Place a greater emphasis on leadership, communication and management of change;
- Create a framework to evaluate services provided to citizens and all electoral stakeholders;
- Promote a culture of continuous improvement.