Security has until recently been largely overlooked within many activities in the private and public sectors. Today it is seen as critical and an integral element within many organisations and activities, from inception of concepts, to procurement, establishment, training and deployment of personnel and assets. The earlier misconceptions and lackadaisical attitudes have taken time and a change in organisational mindset in many spheres to evolve into the current environment. Personnel undertaking their role in elections can no longer feel immune to threat based upon a notion of common good and honourable undertaking. As experienced by organisations like the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, humanitarian activities is no deterrent to targeting by special interest groups to undermine or seek media coverage. The increased risk to staff occurs irrespective of their nationality, gender, religion or role. The high profile role of electoral staff can expose them to direct threats by persons or groups seeking to target governments, countries or organizations. Such targeting may be due to varied factors which can have major consequences for the individual, voters, political groups and communities. Threat or hostile action against electoral personnel can serve to undermine the goals of democratic elections, and affect election outcomes and the political composition of legislature. The failure of staff to recognise their profile and exposure to threat can have serious repercussions both personally and to the organization.
In this module we will discuss security as an integral element in the delivery of electoral activities, in exploring the role of security in planning and staff activities. Participants will identify relevant stakeholders involved in security planning and will examine the varied operational environments in which electoral activities are undertaken. The subjects covered in this module include:
In addition to understanding, interpreting threat and risk requires active participation. This module offers a number of hands-on activities designed for participants to acquire relevant skills such as:
A key understanding underlying this module is recognition of the threats and risks which can impact staff and electoral operations. This module provides participants with the theoretical foundation and many of the practical skills needed to undertake their role safely.