- 1. Start Small
Like the adage goes “ A journey of a 1000miles starts with one step”. IEBC should stop expensive advertising stunts and begin small. Let the officers disseminate e-letters to all government organs, civil service and have social media campaigns by contracting students across campuses and colleges within the 47counties. I am sure the cost would be a third of their expense account on newspaper, radio, road-shows, workshops and TV adverts for a month.
With their automation of the electoral process they should consider “open-source”. They can again hire the top brains at the “ihub” and shortlist best programmers in all universities for this. Believe me there are geniuses out here and they could have a finished product within 60days or less.
- 2. Network
IEBC should not work in isolation. Yes we do understand that they need independence but I believe they are men and women of good character and will be overboard in liaison with public and private sector. There many organizations that would give towards their budget in kind and in-deed.
Could they ask KWS for their choppers and pick-ups? The KDF for security? And even five 4X4 cars from each main stream ministry. Schools and colleges could give their students as interns for the whole voting period. NGOs and other private organization would give other things like fractions of their print costs etc.
- 3. Bargain
They should cut the chase on all purchases and deal with the manufacturers who will in-turn use their country distributors for the best deals. The South African Electricity company did this and saved a lot on their ICT infrastructure.
They could consider re-negotiating with all their suppliers for cuts both in cost and quantities of good or services required.
- 4. Partner
There are those Super brands that would love the opportunity to partner to deliver the best ever election on the planet.
HACO industries could partner in all writing/ink solutions. Microsoft, Nakumatt, Uchumi, Oracle, Cisco, Huawei, Ericsson, Motorolla, KDN, Orange, YU, Safaricom and many others. This could be in terms of connectivity, operating and office software, communication equipment, call termination services, database management etc.
- 5. Get simple
IEBC should consider using a semi-electronic voting system. Or go Chinese and print Chip-emmbedded voting cards. With an order of approx. 20 million cards am sure Chinese firms could give competitive quotes of between 20-500shillings for each card and the PDQ machines plus software to swipe-vote could be less than $1000.
I believe IEBC as lead by the very able Commissioner Hassan could still pull through with their allocation. Many entrepreneurs here and beyond start with nothing but have successful business empires. With 18Billion IEBC should deliver the best election ever in East Africa!