EISA Côte d'Ivoire: Citizen observation (2008-2009)

A short term office was opened in July 2008 and was closed on 31 December 2009. EISA Côte d'Ivoire had the limited fuction of providing technical support to the Ivorian civil society represented by the Convention de la Société Civile Ivoirienne (CSCI), in the area of election observation. EISA's interventions included facilitating the acquisition of the necessary knowledge and capacity to deploy and manage long-term citizen observation during the electoral process.

In a country emerging from civil war and going through a political transition, election observation can play an important role in enhancing confidence in the electoral process. A credible election is a political competition that takes place in a context characterised by confidence, transparency, freeness, fairness and accountability and that provides the electorate with an informed choice between diverse political options.

Throughout 2009 EISA assisted the CSCI in the organisation, management and effective deployment of its election observer mission in the country, as well as the publication and dissemination of its work. This included the selection of trainers, regional co-ordinators and long-term observers. The CSCI was the biggest local network to deploy fully-trained long-term observers throughout the country in order to follow the progress of the electoral process.

Selection and training

EISA trained members of a national Co-ordination Team of 15 members, as well as 20 Regional Coordinators, in order to familiarise them with relevant issues pertaining to the management, coordination and deployment of an election observer mission. The 20 Regional Coordinators who also served as trainers of observers

Observers were drawn from the 134 organisations and coalitions composing the CSCI, with a particular care paid to ensuring good gender representation and the internal cohesion of the network.

For the major part of selected observers the training was their first experience in election observation. Consequent efforts were made to thoroughly prepare observers so that they could perform professionally when deployed on the ground.


EISA assisted the CSCI in the process of putting in place the structures required for the deployment of its observer mission. The national Co-ordination Team put in place, was dedicated to the implementation of the election observation project. CSCI Election Observation Mission (EOM) was formally launched on 23 January 2009 in Abidjan. 255 Long Term observers fully trained and deployed throughout the country to observe the electoral process and 272 short-term observers were deployed countrywide.

Publication of observations

Observations and findings made by the CSCI EOM, on the basis of its comprehensive coverage of the national territory, made a big impact on the electoral process and the way it was conducted. Among other things, when the CSCI took the initiative, on 09 July 2009, to circulate a simulation of the electoral calendar for the poll scheduled on 29 November 2009, the CEI reacted promptly in publishing its own chronogram.