From the 18 – 22 January 2021, ECES implemented a training on Leadership and Quality Management Skills (LEAD-Q) for State Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria (SIECs). This training curriculum was implemented within the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria programme component 1 which has the objective of supporting the enhancement of electoral management capacities of INEC Nigeria and  the Forum of States Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria (FOSIECON) towards consolidating democratic practices in the conduct of elections in Nigeria.

The “Leadership and Quality Management Skills for Electoral Administrators (LEAD-Q)” is a capacity development methodology anchored upon results of lessons learnt over the last 10 years of ECES’ support to electoral administrators in various parts of the world, with the objective of strengthening internal efficiency, effectiveness and reliability. Furthermore, it finds its root from an already existing ECES copyrighted training methodology, namely the Leadership and Conflict Management Skills for electoral Stakeholders (LEAD).

LEAD-Q is original because it prescribes a set of rules, routines and procedures developed to address common weaknesses within electoral administrations targeting a quality management in their electoral processes. If these rules, routines and procedures are applied, it will inevitably lead to greater internal effective performance and increased transparency.

Application of the procedures is the final stage. This initial training aims at forging institutional cohesion and understanding of the quality management system of all the electoral administration’s staff. Benefits of implementing this model are numerous with results easily measured and assessed via specific indicators that have been developed.
The LEAD-Q methodology is essentially a tailored management model for Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs). The decision to implement this management model comes from top management of organisations in order to ensure that appropriate knowledge is not just acquired but also shared and used at all levels.

ECES’ LEAD-Q management model can be utilised by any EMB to assess the organisation's ability to consistently meet:
•    legal and regulatory requirements applicable to the services it provides
•    the organisation's own requirements
•    objectives to enhance electoral stakeholders’ satisfaction and acceptance of results.

All the requirements of this international model are generic. The application of the management model can differ from one EMB to another depending on the statutes of the EMB or the remit of the EMBs work as per the law or constitution. It is not the intent of the LEAD-Q quality management model for electoral management bodies to perceive the need for uniformity in the structure of different quality management systems, or to impose specific terminologies for use within the organisation. The quality management model requirements specified are complementary to requirements for each electoral management body.

Some of the benefits of implementing LEAD-Q methodology and ECES’ management model for EMBS are:
•    leadership development
•    consistent control of organisational processes in elections
•    understanding and follow up of electoral stakeholders’ needs
•    increased internal clarity and knowledge on rules and procedures
•    increased potential for transparency
•    strict monitoring of electoral law requirements
•    electoral risk management based thinking
•    participation and awareness of personnel to the electoral management process
•    increase in the effectiveness of external and internal communication in the context of an election
•    enhancing the efficiency of an EMB throughout the entire electoral cycle
•    reduction of errors in electoral management
•    development of a culture of quality management in the electoral context
•    process approach to the organisation of elections

Chairpersons from across the 36 State Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria participated to this workshop.