A-WEB Paves the Way for
Mutual Growth on the World Stage
Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB)
Established in 2013 under the leadership of the Korea National Election Commission, A-WEB is the world’s largest consultative group on electoral bodies. Headquartered in Songdo International City, its members are made up of 115 election agencies across 106 countries. To date, it has conducted projects in eight nations, including Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Samoa, and Fiji, helping to modernize their respective electoral processes. It has also built ICT infrastructure for elections and offered consulting services in seven nations, such as Malawi and Georgia. In total, some 800 election officials from 70 nations have completed training programs offered through the organization.
Training Programs Held for ICT Staff at Samoa’s Office of the Electoral Commissioner
From August 20 to 31, the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) Secretariat successfully completed a training program in Samoa to strengthen the ICT capabilities of the Electoral Commissioner of Samoa. The on-site training program was aimed at improving the capabilities to utilize the data center and election system of the Samoan election agency, the data center having been built as part of the Korean government’s aid program. With this two-week program conducted by experts from various fields, the Samoan election agency was able to improve its capabilities to utilize and manage the systems. In particular, it showed expectations to successfully carry out the planned 2021 general election in a fair and transparent manner by applying ICT technologies, while gratitude was also expressed toward the Korean government and its people.
An A-WEB official said, “Thanks to the training program, the ICT staff of the Office of the Electoral Commissioner of Samoa upgraded their technological capabilities by 290%.” He went on to express the anticipated results, saying, “The ICT staff from other Samoan government agencies, like the Central Bank, Bureau of Statistics, and National University, also attended the program, sharing their own hopes of taking part in the Korean government’s aid programs and A-WEB’s technical support in the future.”
In March, A-WEB also conducted training and consulting programs on information security for 13 ICT staff members in the Fijian Elections Office. In November, it plans to invite the ICT staff from the election agencies of Fiji, Samoa, and Papua New Guinea to its office in Songdo to undergo further training on the operation and management of electoral ICT services.
Project to Modernize Election Management System in Papua New Guinea Completed
In July, A-WEB completed the implementation of a data center in Papua New Guinea dedicated to the stable operation of ICT technologies for elections in an effort to help the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission achieve transparent and systematic election management, guaranteeing voters’ rights and supporting free participation in elections. It also offered training programs for local staff so that the election body could run the electoral infrastructure on its own. This project was carried out at the request of the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission, following a visit to Korea in 2016. The project began in earnest in August 2018. In February 2019, A-WEB sent experts on data centers and electoral information systems to Papua New Guinea in order to carry out a two-week on-site survey. In April, it recreated the environment of the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission — putting in place the same devices and equipment — in order to run a test on Korean soil while comprehensively verifying the specifications and functions and resolving risks.
In June, A-WEB engaged in all-out efforts to build the data center and implement the electoral information system over a 30-day period. Upon completion of the project on July 31, 2019, A-WEB and the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission held a ceremony to celebrate the donation of the project. After the two organizations conducted comprehensive system tests, A-WEB gave the Papua New Guinean agency the donation certificate and performed a demonstration of the system, declaring the successful completion of the project. Among the guests who attended the ceremony were the Secretary General of A-WEB, the Korean Ambassador to the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, the High Commissioner of India, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Papua New Guinea’s Minister of Treasury and Minister of National Planning and Monitoring.