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Bougainville Referendum Commission offers SMS roll check
5:52 pm GMT+12, 14/11/2019, Papua New Guinea

The Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) is providing SMS roll check service for people to check whether they are enrolled and when polling will start.
Starting on Wednesday 13 November, enrolled voters were able to send a simple SMS to the Bougainville Referendum Commission to confirm if their name is on the roll and receive a text telling them where and when polling will be open near them.
The service is also advertised by SMS blast to over 35,000 Digicel subscribers from tomorrow.
Chief referendum officer Mauricio Claudio said polling would be available for between one and five days in most locations, so people needed to check the polling schedule.
“We have 246 polling teams servicing 829 locations – so polling will not be open for the full two weeks in every location, and will not be starting on 23 November in most locations.
People need to check now where and when to vote so they don’t miss out,” he said.
“While polling will begin in large urban centres and remote locations on Saturday Nov 23, most wards will have their polling teams visit for between Monday Nov 25 to Friday Nov 29.”
Thousands of people used the innovative SMS Roll Check service during phase three of enrolment to check they were enrolled correctly.
“We understand that communications and travel is not easy in Bougainville, and the SMS service can also be used by people living elsewhere in Papua New Guinea and overseas.”
People can also see their Assistant Returning Officer or one of the 800 Ward awareness officers now moving into the field with voter information.
“The commission is committed to an inclusive and accessible process – that is our role in delivering a ‘free’ and fair process.”
To use the SMS Roll Check Service, people should text (+675) 7933 6628 or 7149 3920 with all the following information:
1. First name and surname
2. Constituency and ward in which they reside or claim clan lineage to
3. Date of birth, or at least year of birth
If your name is on the roll, you will receive the text message: A record with those details has been found on the referendum roll.
Polling in [voter’s ward] will be available at [polling location(s) for that ward / location] on [date].
If you will be outside of your constituency during the polling period, you can vote at one of the BRC’s regional offices in Arawa, Buin or Buka, or Port Moresby PNG Electoral Commission.
If they are not found, the Roll Lookup staff will reply with the following text: No record with those details was found.
Please check the details you sent were correct. If you are not on the referendum roll you cannot vote in the referendum.
By law, the roll is now closed to new enrolments.
Meanwhile, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) will conduct a Displacement Tracking Matrix Training.
The objective of the training is to introduce the Displacement Matrix (DTM) to training participants, to equip participants with knowledge on DTM deployment and generation of information products for planning and response purposes and to provide a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences in field level data collection.
IOM Chief of Mission Lance Bonnou, Monitoring and Evaluation officer Peter Murorera and National Project officer Simon Kafu arrived yesterday and will facilitate the two days training workshop at Buka.
Participants will come from Disaster Management/Humanitarian actors, field officers, Enumerators, Church Humanitarian Services Focal Points, NGOs Focal Points, government officials and others.
According to IOM natural and human-induced disasters can have a tremendous impact on societies, and the impact of disasters is often particularly severe in developing countries.
Like other places, Bougainville has witnessed emergency situations that have culminated in property destruction and the displacement of its citizens.
Displacement in the country occurs largely as a result of natural disasters, tribal fights over land and the economic situation of families.
In several cases, internally displaced persons (IDPs) are more vulnerable to development challenges as they have less access to basic services such as protection.
Women and girls are especially susceptical to abuse, from both within their communities and outside.
In order to better understand the current situation of displaced populations, and to inform strategy development and planning towards durable solutions to the displacement, it is important to generate a profile of the displaced.
Collecting IDPs data enables the identification of needs and vulnerabilities of the displaced.
It also provides information that can be used for advocacy by all stakeholders involved in humanitarian and development work.
Furthermore, the data will guide decision makers and enable the planning of evidence-based, sustainable interventions.
To strengthen collection and utilisation of data in displacement settings, the IOM in partnership with ABG, plans to deliver training on the DTM.
The DTM is a system to track and monitor displacement and population mobility, provide critical information for decision-makers and responders during crisis, and contribute to better understanding of population flow.
Implemented under IOM’s current project, “Strengthening Early Warning System and Preparedness Actions for Disaster Risk Reduction in Papua New Guinea (PNG-SEWSP)”, the training will target actors involved in humanitarian response, those involved in field data collection, analysis and reporting.
The training will help participants identify gaps and needs, displacement patterns and monitoring to both improve the delivery of aid to those displaced, and for return planning.


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