Annex to Final Project Report, Republic of Tajikistan, October 1, 1997 - September 30, 2002: Comprehensive Proposal for Electronic Voter Registration (1998-1999)
The technical assessment mission to Tajikistan started on November 5, when I traveled from Quito to Washington, for consultations. I stayed two days and arrived in Almaty with Mr. Anthony Bowyer on November 9, 1998, at 1:30 am,
After presentations I was briefed in the current security situation in Tajikistan, were the rebel forces of Crnl. Kubordaiev have attacked the city of Khujand in the Leninabad Oblast, precisely the city where I was supposed to work. According with Mr. Thomas Leckinger, IFES Program Manager in Central Asia it was not possible any trip to Tajikistan at least in two weeks. In the end, I had to stay in Almaty until November 30, 1998. Almost one month of work in the field was lost due to this unpredictable circumstance. In view of this situation, the place of my destination was also changed to the capital city of Dushanbe. Seen in perspective, this decision proved right. All the political contacts, all the information and all the sources of data had been unavailable for me in Khujand, due to the strict hierarchical structure of administration that rules Tajikistan.
On November 10, 1998, I assisted to a meeting in the USAID with Mr. Bowyer and Mr. Leckinger. In this meeting it was said that the main objective of the mission was to put a computer network on site, ready and programmed to work in a new voter's registration system. Nevertheless, later the same day, when I requested more information, Mr. Leckinger told me that the computer hardware was not part of the first phase. This fact led to my request to amend my scope of work, because it is obviously physically impossible to install a non-yet bought computer network, and because technically speaking, the first step to develop a system is to design it. Just then you can program it and define the necessary activities and resources for its implementation.
During my stay in Almaty, I used my time in the following activities:
1. I developed technical specifications for the computer network and visited the local dealers.
2. I prepared a survey for the Tajik delegation to the Regional Conference of the Central Asia Electoral Officers and met them in the Ala Tau Convention Center to brief them on the objectives of my assessment mission.
3. I prepared theoretical initial papers and control project for the registration system. This initial conception proved correct and it is still the frame of the proposed system.
Finally, it was possible to travel to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on December 1, 1999. Mr. Thomas Leckinger traveled with me, and we started visiting all the prominent persons and Organizations involved in elections. These meetings lasted continuously for fourteen days and proved to be extremely beneficial for our endeavor. Nevertheless, represented another delay for the work in the field. In the practice, I was able to work directly if' the system from December 15 to February 11, and thanks to an extension up to February 20. From 22 to 28 February, I was assigned to be part of an electoral pre-assessment mission, in conjunction with the United Nations and the OSCE. In resume, I worked in the field 58 workable days of the 79 originally scheduled, including the extension. In order to produce adequate results, a tight work schedule was programmed and implemented.
Read the Full Report.